Event: Clackfest 2014
If you're a boater in the Pacific Northwest, the Upper Clackamas Whitewater Festival is an event not to be missed. This was the 31st year the festival has taken place along the Clackamas River at Carter Bridge, and it was as successful and fun as ever. Boaters of all kinds are encouraged to test out various crafts, paddles, and frames. There's plenty of gear you can talk about with awesome vendors from companies like SOTAR, Sawyer Paddles and Oars, and Maravia just to name a few. The event hosts a BBQ on Saturday evening with live music and great burgers. At Clackfest you get to hang out with a group of some of the most rad boaters from some of the originators of the sport to current Class V champions to people who've only just been introduced to whitewater.
The competition events are fun to watch and even more fun to participate in. A slalom course is always set up from the top of Carter Falls Rapid to Carter Bridge where hardshell and inflatable kayakers, catarafters, SUP-ers, drift boaters, and rafters punch through holes, paddle hard, and have some gnarly swims. There's even an Inner Tube Slalom race, which is always a blast. Downstream safety boats are always waiting on the ready to pick up any swimmers, lost paddles, or runaway boats.
There are a few clinics held each year such as Unpinning Boats and Rope Systems and Emergency Raft Repair. People love to share their knowledge and skills and you can learn a lot from some incredibly knowledgeable folks.