“Paddle hard and have fun”


There was a light chill in the air and the sun was shining for the 3rd annual Old Cullowhee Canoe Slalom on Saturday, September 10.

Outdoorsmen of all ages came out to spend a morning racing canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards on the Tuckasegee River near downtown Old Cullowhee.

“It’s a great place to start, or get back into the groove,” says Dr. Wendy Gordon, a professor at WCU and competitor in the race.  “Many races are not for beginners, but this one is a great place to learn and start off.”

Competitors came from as far as Atlanta, Georgia, to compete in the race and enjoy a day in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Various age categories covered the span of racers beginning as young as elementary aged children.  For many young kids this was their first race, and they were excited.  One young competitor shared her dad’s advice with us: – “Paddle hard and have fun!”

Several students from WCU said they originally came out because it was required for class but were glad they had come.  They couldn’t think of a better way to spend a beautiful Saturday morning than by the river and in the water.

The Parks and Recreation Management professors plan to continue hosting the event in the same spot each year.  They hope to see it grow and flourish in the future and get even more of the WCU campus and community involved.