Fri August 16, 2013
Paddlers Converge In Wausau For Freestyle Kayak Championships
The Midwest Freestyle Kayak Championships will be held in Wausau this weekend. Glen Moberg visited the city's downtown course, which has put the region on the whitewater map.
More than 70 paddlers from around the Midwest will test their skills on the Wisconsin River course that runs right through the heart of the city.
Tom Schrader is an information technology professional who traveled from Green Bay to get in on the action.
Schrader: “All the local paddlers from about a three state area plus a couple of professional boaters come into town to compete. “It's mostly about pride, but it's a lot about just having fun and getting together.“
The roar of water racing over rapids drowns out the shouts of instructors, as helmeted paddlers perform tricks at the base of a small waterfall.
Schrader: “Putting your boat on an edge, and making it spin semi-vertically, or getting the boat to go completely vertical. You'll see a lot of loops, essentially a front somersault in a boat. When you see a boat put on its edge almost sideways and it starts turning end over end that would be a cartwheel.”
Tom Schrader, like other paddlers, is drawn to this world class, all-natural course.
Schrader: “This is a great course. It is the most reliable water in Wisconsin and it is a lot of fun to play here.“
Last summer, hundreds of Olympic competitors from 26 countries tested their mettle at Wausau Whitewater Park. The Midwest Freestyle Championships take place this Saturday and Sunday.
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