Some of the Slalom competitors getting pre-race instructions at the Big Rock on Saturday
Ali Casas (Women's 1st Overall) shows her stuff in the Downriver on Sunday
Gerd Serrasolses (Men's 1st Overall) gets some air in the Giant Slalom
Maddi Niermeyer, from Salt Lake City,(left) and Libby Tobey (right) from White Salmon, WA chatting it up before the start of competition on Saturday.  Libby took Women's 2nd Place overall and Maddi 4th.
Great Northern's crew getting launched
Glacier Raft Co. entry in 4-man raft Downriver plies some heavy water
Oregon Rafting Team (2nd Place) fighting to keep it upright as they ply the 'Wild Mile'
Cheyene Rogers (Women's Overall 3rd Place) heads through the final gate on the Slalom course
It ain't all fun and games even though Cheyene Rogers (Women's 3rd Overall) shleps her baot throught the woods back to the start for her 2nd run at the Slalom course on Saturday.
Mikkel St Jean-Duncan (3rd place Overall Men) reacts to missing a gate on the Slalom.
Steve Spanogile acknowledges the crowds approval after rolling himself and fighting back upriver to negotiate a gate
Men's Overall Winner Gerd Serrasoles gets airborn on some big water in the Sunday's Downriver
Pangal Astorga expresses a look of determination after navigating an upstream gate
Mike Eiseman heads downriver with more huge water to come
Welcoming banner on the old on-lane bridge over the Swan River outlet in Bigfork

2014 Bigfork Whitewater Festival

Western Whitewater Championship Series visits Montana's "Wild Mile"

Is Gerd Serrasolses Male Paddler of the Year?

Words by Rick Sheremeta; Photos by Rick & Dody Sheremeta

Memorial Day Weekend sees the sleepy hamlet of Bigfork, Mont., awaken from its winter slumber. It's the time that thousands descend on this peaceful village, nestled between the shores of beautiful Flathead Lake and the mighty snow capped Swan Mountains, to witness one of the classic whitewater races in the nation.

This year marks the 39th anniversary of the Bigfork Whitewater Festival where a host of some 90 competitors including international and world-class athletes ply the Class IV-V "Wild Mile" section of the Swan River vying for glory and prize money of $5,000.

Event number five of 10 in the Western Whitewater Championship series, which combines kayak, raft, and cataraft races throughout Washington, Oregon, California, and Montana, the two-day Bigfork competition consisted of an Upper River Slalom on Saturday, for kayakers, combined with Giant Slalom and Downriver races on Sunday for both kayakers and 4-man rafts. The top three finishers in each event received award with an overall champion crowned in each division based upon combined results for all events. This year's men's Champion was Spain’s Gerd Serrasolses with the women's title claimed by Ali Casas, and Chile’s Equipo Cascada winning the Rafting title.

Click HERE for full WWCS results. Next up is the Payette River Games, June 20-22 in Cascade, Idaho.