Racers coming down the Clear Creek. Photo credit: Jay Penny

Last Satuday, local paddlers competed in the Clear Creek Race on Clear Creek near Wartburg, Tenn. The Clear Creek Race marks the second event of the Plateau Creek Race Series, which works to showcase the beauty of the Cumberland Plateau and bring new paddlers to the sport of creek racing in the Southeast through collaboration of local organizations.

“Stunning views and killer whitewater make this place a Tennessee paddler’s dream,” Philip Byard, World Kayak ambassador for the Nasvhille, Tenn. region, said. World Kayak is a group of volunteer boaters who are working together to enhance their boating communities.
Between 14-20 boaters paddled 2 miles of class II-III whitewater for the Clear Creek Race. Competitors were separated into short boat (under 9′) and long boat (over 9′) categories, and they each started at 2-minute intervals, racing alone from Jett Bridge to the bottom of Lilly Rapid. Results are as follows:

Short Boat (9′ and under)

1. Ian Stewart 25:33

2. Jeff Leach 25:35

3. Jason Crummer 25:47

Long Boat (over 9′)

1. Jim Enochs 24:02 Fastest time!

2. William Taylor 28:25

The Clear Creek Race was the result of collaboration among three local organizations. World Kayak does events and as an ambassador for the Nashville area, Byard was deciding on what events to have. He and Kevin Todd, CEO of WeStroke.com came up with the Creek race series idea. Byard executed the idea, and WeStroke helped organize, run safety, time, etc. and promote it. Outdoor Experience also helped promote and provided prizes.”We all did what we do best, basically,” Todd said. “We figured that we could pull this off by working together for the good of the community.”

The first event also took place on Clear Creek from a more difficult section. Members of World Kayak, WeStroke.com and The Outdoor Experience look forward to the upcoming race on Daddy’s Creek, which will take place on March 30. “It definitely allows the rest of America to see what a gem the Cumberland Plateau is,” Byard said. “Also when people see the video and pictures from the races, it may just inspire them to give creek racing a shot!”

To view the full results and learn more about the series, go to www.Worldkayak.com and www.WeStroke.com.

Racers making their way down. Photo credit: Mary Brace