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Almost 50 competitors for Charles City Challenge Whitewater Festival

Almost 50 competitors for Charles City Challenge Whitewater Festival
Spectators watch from both sides of the Cedar River Saturday morning while competitors in a men’s Boater X race paddle to touch markers on either side of the first feature on the whitewater course, as part of the Charles City Challenge. Press photo by Bob Steenson

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Photos from the 2022 Charles City Challenge Whitewater Festival June 25
By Bob Steenson, [email protected]

Almost 50 competitors took part in the Charles City Challenge Whitewater Festival held last weekend.

There was a shore and river cleanup and a river surfing clinic Friday, and open river use all day Sunday, but the most action was Saturday, when paddlers in a variety of watercraft plied the waters for medals, bragging rights and just for fun.

“We had an awesome turnout on Saturday for our 10th annual event,” said Ginger Williams, Charles City marketing and tourism manager.

“Looking back, I believe this is the second highest number of paddlers we have had, with 49 participants from five states” she said.

“The weather cleared up just in time for us to enjoy a fun day of activities both on and off the river, and it was great to see a lot of local people taking part in the day,” Williams added.

The competition Saturday involved several events that emphasized speed, precision or both.

The events were generally divided among several classes of whitewater competition.

“X” events grouped kayaks, canoes or SUPs in a mad dash to the finish line, requiring competitors to touch markers on both sides of the river after going through the whitewater features, with the first person to touch the exit point finish marker the winner.

In Rodeo events, individual kayakers scored points for tricks performed in one of the swirling whitewater features during two 2-minute time periods, with the scores from both periods combined for a total score.

The River Surf Competition judged stand up paddleboard (SUP) riders in the Double D Wave on technical skill, tricks and style, for two rides each with scores combined from both rides.

The ball event started with colored beach balls dropped from the pedestrian bridge and the teams racing to get their ball and then get it downstream to the exit by bumping, kicking, throwing or whacking it with paddles – but not carrying it.

After exiting the river each team has to race back up to a target area on the riverbank where the winning team is the first to have its ball touch the target and all the team members touch the target or each other.

Also part of the event was a cardboard boat and hooligan run, open to any river-worthy craft other than actual watercraft. SUPs were allowed to be used, but without paddles.

Winning the Paddlers’ Pick Award in the race was the Intimidators team, piloting an actual cardboard boat.

Here are the results of the events:


  • Male – 1: David Gustafson; 2: James Weeks; 3: Ryan Dusil.
  • Female – 1: Kayla Sturgeon; 2: Molly Berkholtz; 3: Tara Thorenson.
  • Youth – 1: Klayten Perreault.


  • Male – 1: Ted Colwell; 2: Tyler Lachowicz; 3: Jerome Adams.
  • Female – 1: Piper Wall; 2: Molly Berkholtz; 3: Becky Fenelon.
  • Youth – 1: Liam Caya; 2: Klayten Perreault.


  • 1: Brett Monnier & Alisha Culbertson.


  • Male – 1: Martin Sackett; 2: Colton Patten; 3: Klayten Perreault.
  • Female – 1: Hannah Childs; 2: Emily Perreault; 3: Piper Wall.
  • Youth – 1: Evelia Perreault; 2: Gemma Oberding; 3: Kinsley Oberding.


  • Male – 1: Kris Perreault; 2: Marty Colbert; 3: (tie) Jeff Simmons/David Gustafson.
  • Female – 1: Hannah Childs.
  • Youth Male – 1: Klayten Perreault.
  • Youth Female – 1: Evelia Perreault.


  • Male – 1: Kris Perreault; 2: Colton Patten; 3: David Gustafson.
  • Female – 1: Hannah Childs; 2: Emily Perreault.
  • Youth – 1: Klayten Perreault; 2: Liam Caya.


  • Male – 1: James Weeks; 2: Glen Harman; 3: Matt Sturgeon.
  • Female – 1: Hannah Childs; 2: Kayla Sturgeon.
  • Youth – 1: Klayten Perreault.


  • Male – 1: Aaron Pravachek; 2: Tyler Lachowicz; 3: Mile Leininger.
  • Female – 1: Molly Berkholtz.


  • Winning Team – Killer Yogurts: Kris Perreault, Emily Perreault, Klayten Perreault, Ginger Williams.


  • 1: Gustafson Gators; 2: Hot Mess Express; Paddlers’ Pick – Intimidators.


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