by Brian McCabe
Mail News Editor
Salida hosted a Wildwater Nationals competition Thursday and Friday, as kayakers and canoers raced in both sprints and a longer classic downriver race of about 4 miles.
“It was a sanctioned national event, open to any wildwater competitor across the U.S.,” Cara Spencer said.
Racers were either in kayaks or canoes and were divided by age group.
“The wildwater discipline uses specific types of boats designed for speed,” Spencer said. “They can be very unstable. That’s what makes it different from other river races.”
Spencer said they usually have several of these events around the U.S., but this year they only had the race in Salida and maybe one or two more races.
“This event has been held in Salida in years past, and you are always a welcoming community to paddlers,” Spencer said. “Knowing we could come down this year made it special. We are very grateful to Salida, Alli Gober and all of the paddling organizations.”