The Transylvania Times -

The Great French Broad River Canoe Race Of 2016


The start of the French Broad Canoe Race, part of the Upper French Broad River Festival, had a great turn out. Teams of two paddled ten miles starting at Champion Park, then handed off the baton to another team of two who took it in to the finish at Hap Simpson. (photos courtesy Headwaters Outfitters)

On June 18, 11 teams took off from Rosman on a 20-mile canoe relay race. The race started with a shotgun and all canoes bucking for position right out of the gate. While it is a fun and competitive event, it is a race on the

river, for the river.

The leg that began at Champion Park in Rosman and wound its way to Hap Simpson Park in Brevard is 20 river miles, with Island Ford Access in the middle at the 10-mile mark. Here, paddlers relayed off to fresh teammates that continued on to the finish. Another added bonus was that the multi-bridge crossings onlookers could cheer on their teams and update positions back to the River Fest that was happening back in Rosman............................

The teams entered were Bradley Builders, Brevard College, Dugan's Pub, Earthshine Mountain Lodge, Headwaters Outfitters, McKinney Tree Huggers, Natures Way Landscaping, Oskar Blues, Trails Carolina, Transylvania County Sheriffs Department and Trout Unlimited. All teams paddled canoes that where the same make and model. The 20 miles was paddled in about four hours... I would like to extend a big "thank you" to these four-person teams that made this race such a success, and hats off to the Trails Carolina team for finishing the race without a relay. Thei teammates could not make it, and once on the water they continued to the finish line with the first leg paddlers.

It was an exciting race, and from the feedback it seems that everyone is ready for next year. So if you missed this one, look for the second annual race at next year's Upper French Broad River Fest on June 24, 2017...............................

Chuck, Jesse, Charlie and Sammy Bradley holding the first place trophy after a hot day on the river.

The entry fee of $100 per team put $1100 in the Transylvania French Broad River Stewards coffers, which in turn helps maintain the river from log jams, sweepers and strainers. Without a clear and open river, paddling, fishing and the general health of the river is jeopardized. Thanks to all the partners and Transylvania County for supporting this great asset we enjoy, The French Broad River............................

(Whitmire is the owner of Headwaters Outfitters, and a steward of the French Broad River.)


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