4th Annual Riverhouse Rendezvous Slalom No. 3 will take place on Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 10 a.m. in the Deschutes River behind the Riverhouse Convention Center and Hotel in north Bend. Throughout the day, paddlers divided by age group, type of boat and gender will test their skills and endurance on the quarter-mile whitewater course.
If folks would like to volunteer, we’ll be setting the gates at Friday starting at 10 a.m. Come down for as much or as little as you can. As a tradition, we like to paddle the gates throughout the day, as well as making as many Riverhouse Runs as possible. Get as many runs in as you can before it stops running for the season. Friday afternoon and Saturday the course will be open and the Tumalo Creek vans will be running shuttle for the Riverhouse run (This starts at the Riverhouse and takes out near Tumalo State Park.) We will also be (tentatively) hosting the Reel Paddling Film Festival at the Tower Theatre on Saturday night to raise money and awareness for the Bend Paddle Trail Alliance.
The Press Release:
Central Oregon is a place where the mountain snow is transformed into gushing whitewater play parks every spring – is known world-wide as a great destination for the whitewater kayaker, and slalom racing has been a part of this tradition in Bend since the 70s.
Three years ago, kayak enthusiasts Bert Hinkley (Pacific Northwest representative of the National Whitewater Slalom Committee), and Geoff Frank (owner, Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe) worked together to revive the Riverhouse Rendezvous whitewater kayak slalom race, that time in it’s fourth re-incarnation. Drawing top paddlers from Oregon and Washington, the race is part of the Northwest Cup slalom paddle series and is a Junior Olympic qualifier.
“Paddlers don’t have to be highly skilled racers to participate,” said Hinkley. “Slalom is a great way to hone river running technique. The friendly competition can provide an opportunity to challenge friends and see who can be fast, clean, and precise in the gates using the flow of the water.”
Whitewater slalom kayaking as been a sport since the 1940s, when Swiss alpine skiers embraced the runoff from the mountains to race the rivers on their off-season. Today, this spectator-friendly sport is known to test not only the physical skill of paddlers, but their knowledge of the river and their ability to use currents and river features to their advantage.
“The League of Northwest Whitewater Racers is grateful to the Riverhouse Resort for their generous support,” Hinkley said. “The river provides the technical challenge and the Resort allows us to the chance to test our skills.”
Course set up will start on Friday night and we are always looking for volunteers. Competitors are welcome to run the course on Saturday.
For more details past events, please see this excellent article by The Bend Bulletin’s former sports reporter, Katie Brauns:
Or watch the video Joe Hite of Hellfish.