Another American Whitewater Deerfield Riverfest has come and gone. This is one of the busiest weekends on the Deerfield and always a great time. The weekend started with one of the biggest Thursday night Zoar Staff Paddling trips we’ve ever run with over 20 people showing up. We had some brand new boaters, several boaters trying to brush up on skills and shake off the rust to get ready for the Dryway and some instructors that were looking to have some fun on the water and avoid the heat. Fifey was scheduled to run pretty late so we put on at Fisherman’s Bend. After doing some wet exits and basic instruction with the new paddlers, we headed downstream. It was a really fun evening. It was really great watching everyone improve and try new things.
On Friday, I headed up to the Dryway to get a couple of laps. Most people must have been working because the river was not the least bit crowded. It was a great time to get in a few laps and have some fun. I got a chance to get my new Jitsu out on the water. It is a really fun boat especially when you get in on a wave. On Saturday, the river was very crowded and parking was a little challenging. On Saturday I paddled with Katelyn. We did a few laps and played the river. It was a lot of fun reconnecting with a lot of paddlers that I hadn’t seen in awhile. After hanging out at the takeout a bit, we headed back to Zoar to meet up with the Zoar Crew and get ready to head up to the festival site.
The festival is always a great time with music, raft guide olympics, and plenty of exciting games. It is a great time to catch up with paddlers, make new friends, drink a few beers and visit the vendors that set up booths at the event. The festival is put on by American Whitewater. AW is one of the reasons we have scheduled whitewater releases on the Deerfield River and the fest is always a great time to join or renew your membership. If you didn’t make it out this year, you should definitely plan on coming next year!
On Sunday, there was a Lozer Cup Race on the Dryway. It was a pretty big race but there didn’t seem to be quite as many competitors as there have been in the past on Riverfest weekend. It was a great race with some really great lines, some big surfs, a swim and lots of excitement. It was a really great weekend.