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Kayakers Gather to Race in Cuyahoga Falls on Saturday

At least 50 racers are expected to paddle the rapids at Saturday’s Cuyahoga Falls Kayak Race  

Organizers have been eyeing the level of the Cuyahoga River, to see whether they’d need water released from Lake Rockwell upstream in order to hold the event. The recent downpour has brought the river high enough, so the infusion won’t be necessary, according the lead organizer, Don Howdyshell.

This is the second year of the race since the Mill and Powerhouse dams were demolished in 2013 to create a free-flowing river. Howdyshell says the half-mile course cuts through the center of Cuyahoga Falls, and includes drops and rapids that novice kayakers can’t handle.

“Most kayakers need to spend at least a year’s worth of Class 4 Whitewater paddling in order to do this safely and efficiently. People need to have what’s called a reliable combat roll so when they do flip, they can right themselves.”

Howdyshell expects 1,000 spectators at the event. Booths will include information about the nearby Gorge Dam, which is also on the demolition list.


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