This year, the United States Rafting Association voted to hold the National Rafting Championships at the Payette Boise River Revival. In a decision to avoid taking public bids for the championships site in favor of adhering to a tight schedule, the USRA decided on this year’s location and announced that Maryland will host next year’s championships.
The USRA is taking bids on sites for 2010 and 2011.
“The PBR Revival is honored to host the 2008 National Rafting Championships,” says Sam Goff, who is organizing the event with Bill Driscoll. It hasn’t been all fun and games though. “Agreeing to host the National Rafting Championships is like carrying a cactus in your front pocket: it hurts when you walk, your fingers bleed when you reach for the keys, it looks like you have a spiky boner, but at the end of the day you can say ‘I did it…yes!!’”
The PBR will include a smorgasbord of whitewater competitions aside from the rafting nationals including ten whitewater events between May 30th and June 1st. Kayakers are welcome to participate in freestyle, slalom, downriver and boatercross comps.
We were curious about PBR, specifically Driscoll and Goff getting busted for poaching the famous beer’s name. “Pabst Brewing is one of our sponsors,” Goff says. “Last year, they donated a bunch of kegs, and we sold the beer for fundraising.” This year, Goff is hoping for even more support from PBR, coming in the form of financial contributions on top of the free beer. The money earned from the event goes into the budget for building a whitewater park in downtown Boise (finally). The project was awarded 1.5 million from the town, but another 2.8 million is needed to make the park a reality. At this point, the PBR whitewater revival is “raising money specifically for the area around the park.” The features themselves, which cost less than a million dollars to install, have already been paid for.
Why is improving the area surrounding the park proving to be such an expensive proposition? “It’s an old gravel pit, and there used to be a low-head dam there, however it has a nice greenbelt and connects to Boise neighborhoods. We are planning an entire park that needs parking, trash and sewer services.”
But the goal of building the new park is not as out of reach as the 2.8 million-dollar price tag makes it seem. More big donors are hopping on board, following on the heels of the beer sponsor. Goff expects preliminary earthmoving to begin during the fall of 2008.
Don’t expect the fun to end once the park is built. Goff, a junior high school teacher and veteran event organizer, envisions a future in which the PBR Revival will feature events on a completed downtown Boise whitewater course and more sports will be included giving the event a feel of the Teva Mountain Games. Goff and Driscoll have decided that future proceeds will go to the surrounding communities of Horseshoe Bend, Banks and Crouch, Idaho “for good karma.”
– Sam Weiss
For more info check out the PRR WW Revival site.