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Saturday, April 3, 2004 - Sunday, April 4, 2004 -- Webster Springs, WV
Webster Wildwater Weekend River Festival & Race (iPO Event Id#: 6295)
Photos by Jennifer Saunders with story by Heather Rau

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]
Past Coverage: [1999] [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003]

Webster WW Weekend
Whitewater fun in Webster
There was plenty of water for the race on Saturday at Webster Springs, WV. Over 70 plus people showed up to brave the rapids, and enjoy the river festival. Everyone was invited to the indoor bonfire at Camp Caesar for an evening of live music, prize give-a-ways, river videos, food, drink and fun. Who wouldn't want to stick around for that?

And whoever said that paddling in the snow and rain in April wasn't fun....  Not one of the 70+ boaters that showed up on the banks of the Elk river to take part in the 6th Annual Webster Springs Wildwater Weekend River Festival, that's for sure. 

Webster WW Weekend
Come on in the water's just right
The evening before brought some snow to the area, along with cold temperatures.  The weather leading up to race day provided medium water levels, the local boaters were very happy about that.  So the winter boating gear was packed on once again and the race to the bottom was on.  

The field of competitors was broken down into four groups; rafts, duckies, kayaks and open boats.  I found that the mass start gave a fair chance to all, both in gaining position and finding their paddling groove.  Along the shoreline I was greeted by many people.  It always helps when you hear a voice, other than your own, encouraging you to keep paddling and finish!

Webster WW Weekend
Jesse Whittemore showing some serious whitewater stamina
This year the juicy water level set the perfect stage for the "Wrath of the Whittemores," and a new course record. Jesse Whittemore paddled his red, black, and gold fiberglass beauty for a fast time of 31:90 to take the overall win, and the new course record honors home with him.

Topping it off for the ladies in the race was Chara Whittemore, (Yup you guessed it, Jess's significant other.) Chara pulled out an awesome time setting a new course record for the women with a time of 34:05. This is also the first time in the race's history that a husband and wife team have both finished first overall.

Webster WW Weekend
The challenging slalom course
For the Record: After the race, we joined the crowd over at the slalom course and watched a few competitors warm up.  The slalom course was quite challenging.  The upstream gates proved to be the menacing spots. This year I raced and wrote the story, and my friend, Jennifer Saunders, took all of the awesome photos. 

Thanks so much to Geary Weir, Mike Surbaugh, Jim Casey, and their enitre, hardworking Webster Crew. Thanks to the safety boaters and all of the volunteers who made this event, once again, a great and safe time on the scenic waters of Webster Springs.

Thanks to all of the Webster WW Weekend Sponors!
G&R IGA Grocery, Webster Springs-donated a brand new Perception Torrent kayak which was given away at the party on Saturday evening...won by Keith Lilly of Cookeville, TN.

Thank you for your prize donations: Beauty Mountain Sports, Northwest River Supply, First Community Bank, Webster Memorial Fitness Center, Webster County Watershed Association. Beverages were donated by Anquet Bottled Water, Sierra Mist , Red Bull