It’s the most wonderful time of the year…Whitewater Derby time! Every year since 1958, boaters have descended on North Creek to paddle and battle their way to the top. With events for kayakers, canoers and spectators alike, the Whitewater Derby has a little something for everyone. So whether you want to test your finesse on the slalom, show off your brute strength and endurance in the downriver or tan the biceps you got from curling cans of PBR, head to the Derby this weekend.
What to Expect at the Whitewater Derby
The Derby is one of the country’s longest-running contests of whitewater boating skill. The Hudson River Whitewater Derby has a few main events. Wondering what event to check out this weekend? Take a look below.
The Slalom– The slalom race takes place on Perry Ehlers rapid in the town of North River. It’s a race against the clock where kayakers and canoers paddle a course one at a time. Boaters zig and zag through the rapids, paddling through gates on either side of the river. They must make sure to slide right through the gates without touching-contact with a gate earns boaters a penalty. Some of the gates even require boaters to paddle back through upstream, if you thought it wasn’t tricky enough already. The slalom race has the biggest rapids of the weekend (and the highest potential for some good old fashioned carnage).
The Downriver- The downriver race is an eight-mile race that has paddlers going from North Creek to Riparius. It has portions of flatwater as well as good sized rapids. It’s a test of skill and grit that leaves boaters with burning arms and lungs at the finish. A mass start makes this race a real nail-biter to watch. To get the most of your spectating, watch boats take off in North Creek and zoom to Riparius to get a good seat riverside. Watch the winners paddle beneath the bridge in real time and make sure to hoot and holler for team Beaver Brook!
The Not-So-Whitewater Race- For those who want to get in on the action without getting too much action, this is just the ticket! This race is a quick 2.5 mile paddle on moving water (without rapids). The Not-So-Whitewater Race is also a fundraiser for the Adirondack Community Outreach Center, so get a crew from work together to paddle for a difference!
The Party- Head to Basil & Wick’s to get in on one of the most legendary parts of Derby weekend–the party! There’s sure to be music, food, drinks, dancing and some solid people watching. Get yourself to North Creek to have some fun this weekend!
Get a Derby Discount
Get the perfect North Creek weekend in with a day of spectating and a day of rafting. Beaver Brook is offering a deal on our Hudson Gorge trip on both Saturday and Sunday. Use code DERBY for $10 off per person for Saturday or book an already discounted trip on Sunday. Get up close and personal with some whitewater one day and take in the competition the next. What could be better?