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Iowa Games whitewater slalom competition returns to Charles City on Saturday

Iowa Games whitewater slalom competition returns to Charles City on Saturday
Thirty-five contestants of all ages took part on the Charles City whitewater course for last year’s 2023 Iowa Games Whitewater Slalom events. This year’s contest will be held Saturday, June 15, beginning with the paddlers meeting at 8:30 a.m. then running through the afternoon as long as required for the number of contestants that enter. Press file photo by Travis Fischer
By Bob Steenson,

Charles City Whitewater at Riverfront Park will again host the Summer Iowa Games Whitewater Slalom events this year, scheduled to take place this Saturday, June 15.

The Iowa Games are held annually “to provide sports and recreation opportunities for all Iowans through Olympic-style festivals, events and programs,” according to the Iowa Games organization. There are Winter Iowa Games and Summer Iowa Games.

For the whitewater competition there will be more than a dozen events, open to men, women and coed groups in eight different age classes.

Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. Saturday with a paddlers information meeting at 8:30 p.m. The events will run through the afternoon, depending on the number of entries in each event and each category.

Events will be concentrated in six general areas, with participants allowed to enter up to four events in any combination:

• Slalom events will have one kayak or canoe or stand-up paddle board (SUP) paddling through a numbered series of gates (hanging poles) on the whitewater course while timed.

• Downriver sprint events will have one kayak or canoe or SUP paddling from the start through the finish while timed.

• Raft racing will have one raft paddling from the start around at least two obstacles and then through the finish while timed; for teams of two to four paddlers.

• Riverboard racing will have one riverboard or boogie board propelled by the rider from the start through the finish while timed.

• Swim, paddle swim, and swimmer tow events will occur at the downstream side of the first drop and will involve crossing from the river right bank to the river left bank while going downstream as little as possible.

• Throw rope events will occur at the first drop and will involve throwing to and swinging in a swimmer.

Age groups are under 12, 12-17, 18-29, 30-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70 and over 70, with most entries available for men or women solo, or for men, women or coed tandem.

Gold, silver and bronze medals will awarded in each division that has sufficient entries.

Advance online registration ended Monday, but onsite registration for the various contests will be accepted Saturday morning at the registration desk.

The 2024 Summer Iowa Games will be held May-July, with the majority of sports taking place July 13-21 in Ames and surrounding communities, except for those such as the whitewater events that use a specific venue.

For more information and registration for the 2024 Summer Iowa Games, visit

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