Published DateNORTHFIELD — Friends of the Winnipesaukee River is pleased to announce White Water Slalom Racing will be held on the Winnipesaukee River on June 22-23. The event is made possible through a collaborative effort involving the NH Department of Environmental Services, the towns and Conservation Commissions of Northfield and Tilton, Friends of the Winnipesaukee River and private land owners who are allowing access to their land.
The race will be hosted by Sonny Hunt and his daughter, Amy, who have run the slalom race on the Blackwater River in Webster for over 30 years. Sonny Hunt said, "There has been a lot of interest in having an additional white water slalom race in NH and the Winnipesaukee River is an ideal location. This year it will be a training race for the New England White Water Slalom Series with the potential to be a regular race in the series in future years."
White water slalom racing combines precise boat handling skills with speed. Paddlers are timed racing through a series of gates (poles dangling from wires across the river which include both downstream (with the current) and upstream (against the current) gates. Penalties (seconds) are added for every pole touched or gate missed with the fastest times winning the race. There are a variety of categories for canoes and kayaks including men and women, combined and solo and tandem boats.
The race course will provide high visibility for spectators with the course located in the rapids across from the Tilton Police Station where the river runs close to East Main St/Route 3/11. Race headquarters will offer great views and it will be located on the Northfield side of the River on the conservation land at the end of Granite Street. Good viewing can also be had on conservation land on the Tilton side of the river.
The race will highlight efforts of the Winnipesaukee River Trail Association and towns of Northfield and Tilton to build the "missing link" bridge which will close the gap between the two existing sections of the Winnipesaukee River trail with a pedestrian bridge from the end of Granite Street in Northfield crossing the river into Tilton and also provide river and trail access from a small parking lot on the former Ernie's Used Car lot which is currently being cleaned up under a Federal Brownfields grant.
Donations toward the matching funds for the project can be made to the Winnipesaukee River Trail Association PO Box 464 Franklin, NH 03235 or www.winnitrail.org or find us on face book.
Franklin will also see white water boaters over the weekend with downriver play boaters paddling the class III and IV rapids from Cross Mill Road to Trestle View Park in Franklin. Best viewing there will be at Trestle View Park and along the Winnipesaukee River Trail.
Ken Norton from Friends of the Winnipesaukee River stated "The communities of Franklin, Tilton and Northfield and groups like Choose Franklin have promoted conservation and recreation efforts on the Winnipesaukee River as a vehicle for economic development by attracting people to the downtown areas of our communities. This year's slalom race will bring boaters and spectators who will have the added bonus of participating in Old Home Day activities."