Kayaking's most accomplished paddlers are preparing for the 2008 Reno River Festival, May 9-11, 2008. The 5th annual competition will held in the heart of downtown Reno in the Riverwalk district at the Truckee River Whitewater Park.

Top kayakers from Australia, Canada, Norway, New Zealand, Costa Rica and the United States are set to compete. This year they will be joined by a diverse group of athletes going head-to-head in the festival's newest events. There will be mountain bike speed trials and the "Run Amuck" fun run.

Current world freestyle kayak champion Eric Jackson returns to the Reno River Festival to compete for the men's freestyle championship – a title he held in 2005 and 2006. Jackson is up against current Reno River Festival champion and local favorite Jay Kincaid. Challenging Jackson and Kincaid is another freestyle winner and current U.S. national champion Stephen Wright of Washington D.C., as well as Bryan Kirk of Charlottesville, Va. and Ben Guska of Glenwood Springs, Colo.

For more details about the fifth annual Reno River Festival visit www.RenoRiverFestival.com

The competition looks to be white hot in the women's division. Current World Freestyle Champion, Ruth Gordon, said she is looking forward to the 2008 event. She is challenged by 2005, 2006 and 2007 women's freestyle champion, Tanya Faux of Australia, New Zealand native Nikki Kelley and current junior freestyle champion and 2nd place Reno River Festival women's finisher, 18-year-old Emily Jackson.

"The Reno River Festival is one of those events that you go into unsure of how people are going to do. You can never analyze the competition because you never know what high-score move they're going to pull out," said Emily Jackson. "The Whitewater Park allows us to do a lot of everything, and for that reason I'm really looking forward to the Reno River Festival – it has a great feature and an awesome community!"

The juniors competition presents a battle of best friends as Reno native Jason Craig, and Dane Jackson, son of Eric Jackson, go head-to-head. Now 14-years-old, Dane was named to the U.S. Freestyle Kayak Team when he was just 11-years-old.

The Reno River Festival has earned a reputation for showcasing world-class kayaking at its best. This year's event will be held May 9-11 at Wingfield Park in downtown Reno. The festival includes open and professional competitions, whitewater clinics and an expo featuring the hottest outdoor products on the market.

Event-goers also can enjoy high-energy concerts, food for every craving and a beer garden featuring hand-crafted microbrews. The festival is free and takes place in the heart of Reno, Nevada. The 5th annual Reno River Festival is presented by Reno River Festival LLC.