Select Page

2017 marked the second year of the Cuyahoga Falls race in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. That’s right, I said Ohio. I was very pleasantly surprised last year when I went to this race for its first year. I did not know that there was whitewater in Ohio until a couple years ago. The race is held on a really fun, short section of whitewater that has two waterfalls. The race course runs right through downtown and is directly overlooked by the Sheraton Hotel.

The organizers did a great job with this event both years and the race shows great promise to continue to grow and improve. I was also really impressed with the excitement and support that was shown by the town, locals, and the Sheraton Hotel who allowed registration/awards in their parking lot and allowed spectators to view the race
from the hotel decks that overlook the river.

The event consisted of a classic downriver race, and had the addition of two new events this year – a boater-x, and a slalom race. I competed in the downriver race in the short boat and long boat divisions. Using my C-1 Karma and my C-1 Karma UL. I had clean lines in both but felt especially good on my long boat run. I tied for 4 th in long boat and
placed 12 th in short boat.

I competed in the slalom in my C-1 Karma. There were no other C-1 paddlers at this race, so I had to race against the kayakers in all divisions. The slalom course proved to be tough with many challenging gates to navigate between the two waterfalls. The river level was higher than anticipated making several of the ferry moves more challenging as
well. Many paddlers missed at least one gate.

My game plan was to approach smoothly and methodically and just try to go through all the gates successfully. I was really happy to successfully navigate the slalom course and pass all the gates correctly. My strategy paid off and I finished 3 rd in the slalom! I was supper happy with that placing. Cuyahoga Falls race 2017 was a great time! The day even started out with a bang.

Racers compete in the second annual Cuyahoga Falls Kayak Race.

There was rain in the area prior to race day that brought up water levels on some of the surrounding rivers. Early Saturday morning, before the race, Bobby Miller, Myself, and my brother Sean headed to nearby Elyria, Ohio and were able to catch a run off of one of Ohio’s taller waterfalls.

I look forward to watching this event grow. I recommend checking it out next year!
Here is the highlight video from the event. A short clip of me running part of the slalom
course starts around 03:10

– Seth Chapelle