Sarapiqui River Festival Costa Rica

Kayak Ramp at the Sarapiqui River Festival
The Sarapiqui River Festival began 3 years ago as a collaboration between Chilamate Rainforest and World Class Kayak Academy as a way to give back to the local community and get the local kids on the river and in boats and as a day to celebrate the Sarapiqui River in a safe family environment.
This year, 2013, is the River Festivals 3rd year and this year the organisation was taken on by a local organisation Chilamate Activo together with the hard work and logistical coordination of World Kayak Costa Rican Ambassador Davis Azofeifa (owner of Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat), and a great number of local and international sponsors and supporters including: World Kayak, Selva Whitewater, Tropical Duckies, Sarapiqui Outdoor Center, Aventuras del Sarapiqui, Rios Lagos y Mares, World Class Kayak Academy, Ferreteria el Tucan, Super Malibu, World Leadership School and Lago Jalapa, and the local firefighters and red cross.
This years Festival kicked off on Saturday the 23rd of November with an extreme creek race and peaked on Sunday the 24th with an inclusive Sarapiqui down river race and the RAMP!!! Attendance was higher than ever. Great food and local artwork abound. PURA VIDA!! We hope to see you next year!!

Sarapiqui River Festival Extreme Creek Race

On November 23rd, 2013, the third Annual Sarapiqui River Festival kicked off with an extreme creek race for the regions best local kayakers and participants from as far as Manual Antonio. Native Turialban Arnaldo Cespedes Perez took home 1st place! It was a beautiful day but the competition was tough as the participants dared the awesome waterfalls at Poza Azul River, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica. PURA VIDA

Sarapiqui River Festival Extreme Creek Race

On November 23rd, 2013, the third Annual Sarapiqui River Festival kicked off with an extreme creek race for the regions best local kayakers and participants from as far as Manual Antonio. Native Turialban Arnaldo Cespedes Perez took home 1st place! It was a beautiful day but the competition was tough as the participants dared the awesome waterfalls at Poza Azul River, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica. PURA VIDA

River Rescue Rodeo 2013

The River Rescue Rodeo was held on the Tuckasegee River in Dillsboro, NC,  September 29th 2013.  Teams of five came to compete from as far away as Ohio, although most of the teams were regional.  A number of local volunteers and Landmark Learning instructors supported the event as judges and victims throughout the day. 


Events included hands on rescue and medical scenarios, boat and equipment rescues, throw rope competitions, and a knot-tying rodeo.    The event started at 9am with the closing and awards ceremony completing near 2pm.  This was a fun filled event with very active participants.


Our winning teams took home over $1000.00 worth of prizes and materials.  Taking first place by a small margin was Western Carolina University, followed by the Cincinnati Paddlers and finishing strong as third was Warren Wilson College.   All of the teams left with small sponsor gifts and gear from the silent auction. 


The best aspect of the whole event was the comradery, fun and lessons learned from the day’s activities!  Dates for 2014 will be set soon with registration opening in the late winter.


Special thanks go out to our event sponsors: Landmark Learning, Dillsboro River Company, Duke Energy, Northwest River Supply, American Canoe Association, American Whitewater, Carolina West Sports Medicine, Andy Shaw Ford, Astral Buoyancy, Possumdog Productions, World Kayak, and El Pacifico Mexican Restaurant. – TNT – Thursday Night Throwdown – Week 2

It was an unusual Thursday night on the river as the thick mist sat on the water and blue cloudy skies above.  The River level has been up this week so our planned event involving Eddies had to be switched to something different.


So with some quick thinking we changed the game to PYLON SLALOM and ATTAINMENT RACE. Each racer back and forth through the bridge pylons and then back upstream to cross the finish line.

It was a fun event and it taught us that we could all use some practice with our steering skills!


Stay Tuned for Announcements of WEEK 3- TNT – Thursday Night Throwdowns


World Kayak Atlanta – Slalom Survivor Throwdown




It was a beautiful Saturday this past weekend for the Slalom Survivor fun at the Metro Hooch.


The water level was dropping from a high level so we casually took our time getting started.

Mark Mullinax and Evan Spyzinski enjoying the nice surf waves on the way to the course.


Richard Bronsky

The river level was dropping slowly but several eddies soon appeared and we set up our course.

The Course consisted of 5 eddies, each with a red basket as the goal.Patrick Toups


Each boater had five clothes pins to score into the basket as they navigated the course.Evan Spyzinsky

The goal was to get each clothes pin into the basket . Richard Bronsky

There is something about playing fun games on the river that makes them worth it.  Michael Dyer

It was great to see everyone give the course a try! Pete Gagnon

and even more rewarding was that everyone was a winner!Tammy Lea

I love to see the Huge smiles and the joy of accomplishment from the participants. Kristin House

Thanks to everyone who came out on Thursday night to just paddle after canceling.   I hope to see you all this Thursday Night!





TNT AUGUST- Thursday Night Throw-down Series

The Month of August I will be hosting fun events with prizes for participation. Everyone is a winner.

Mark your calendar with these days …

Aug 1 – Slalom Survivor  - slalom style with a fun twist. Metro Hooch Take out at 5:30/ Put In at 6:00pm

Aug 8 – Dash and Stash – How many eddies can you catch. Dash in and stash the treasure in your pfd.

Aug 15  - Eddy FOOTBALL – Team Challenge to pass nerf football from eddy to eddy to score the touch down.

Aug 22- Freestyle  - come play-boat! Amateurs welcome.

Aug 29- BoaterCross – Mass start race through a designated course.


All boats are welcomed for each event. The Events are free. You are welcome to come out even if you choose not to participate. Volunteers needed and rewarded for their efforts. I will post up more details for each event as it approaches.

Cartecay River Boatercross


The Cartecay River in Ellijay, GA was at a great level Saturday morning for the World Kayak Boater Cross event this year. 2.5 ft on the gauge was twice the flow of last years race.



New this year for the race was the additional location of the Cartecay River Experience  - River Left.   Located on the Left side of the river put in,  this location was perfect for parking and river access. The covered pavilion with picnic tables, the private changing rooms, and restrooms provided a pleasant Experience for  the boaters to prepare for the race.  Now with two locations for river lovers of every type  - The Cartecay River Experience Outfitters is my favorite weekend destination for relaxation and fun. is their website with all the info.

We had a great turn out this year for the race. Race volunteer LA McAllister handled registration, timing, and shuttle. please remember to thank her for and all volunteers who do the hard work for these events.  The race had 17  sign ins! An amazing turnout compared to prior events and the amount of natural flow in the area.

Before I continue with the race results I have to mention two very special people. Jana Walker and Tim Woodall. In the process of event registration a group of Cartecay River  first timers showed up and were asking questions about the river.  Jana and Tim removed themselves from the race and volunteered to guide the newbies down the river for their first Experience. This my friends is an amazing act of kindness that makes our boating community amazing and these folks are the real WINNERS!

The second Volunteer in the race was Jackson Thompson. Jackson inspected the boats for missing drain plugs and floatation. He was very thorough and examined all the boats closely.

He continued his safety inspections on the playground equipment and has reported back that your children will be safe on your next visit to River Left.

Once the registration process was complete and the starting time announced the racers moved into the water for the final inspection from our last volunteer – Black dog.

A proper fitting PFD and Helmet are necessary for World Kayak events and Black Dog made sure each boater was prepared for the race.




He did a second check on drain plugs as well. Thanks Black Dog.

Excitement began building as the starting line was laid out and boaters moved into starting positions. 5 minutes to start!


One minute till Start!

GO!  The racers sped away and the excitement began!

It was quite a site to see! I hoped in my truck and raced to the finish line.


Barely making it to the finish line before the first racer appeared, it was no surprise to see last years winner come blazing thru the falls. Lightning Will Clements!

The rest of the racers seemed to have spaced themselves out thru the course.  each boater had a clean run of the falls with plenty of room in between.








Thanks to everyone who participated and had a great time!



Nickajack Creek – A local run scouted and added to the bucket

Nickajack Creek runs under the old Covered bridge on Concord Rd in Smyrna, Georgia


I was pleasantly surprised today when I explored Nickajack Creek .

My first scouting attempt a few months ago led me to a small ditch which seemed ridiculously small to do any boating in.

Well it turns out that this creek confluences with another creek to give the river its start.


Here in the photo above the confluence of the two small creeks come together to make the beginning of this run. Keep it mind that there is minimum flow running at the time of the photos.

The first rapid I came to is right at the Silver Comet Bridge . The river rushes right around the bridge support and then drops 3ft to the left into a narrow channel.

The Creek has several small shelf’s and plenty of rocks. At a higher flow I see some potential for a fun run close to home.

I didn’t scout as far down as I wanted to. I did get to see enough to be convinced my boat will be hitting these waters soon.

I really enjoyed this hike with no leaves on the trees and bushes. I was able to see the entire run of river from the trail . It was an easy walk with a clear path. The additional scenery was nice as well.


Rick Thompson









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