Man Who Ran World's Biggest Rapids Coming To Chattanooga

Monday, March 17, 2014

Steve Fisher, the kayaker who stared down the biggest rapids on Earth and lived to tell about it, will be sharing his story at the final day of the Lookout Wild Film Festival on Sunday.

Mr. Fisher is an internationally-known explorer and paddler, being named a National Geographic “Adventurer of the Year” in 2013 and an Outside magazine “Adventurer of the Year” in 2013.

His latest film “Congo: The Grand Inga Project” has taken home some major awards on the festival circuit, including “Best in Show” at the National Paddling Film Festival and “Best Film” at the X-Dance Film Festival, the world's premiere action sports film festival.

 

The film follows Mr. Fisher’s team down the Inga Rapids on the lower Congo River, a 50-mile section of waterfalls and kayak-eating whirlpools known to be the biggest on the planet.

“This is a river like no other, and these rapids were a big step more difficult than we’d anticipated,” said Mr. Fisher, recalling 20-foot breaking waves, deadly whirlpools, and basketball court-sized hydraulics. "We may have survived these rapids, but somehow we feel more humbled than proud.”

“Congo: The Grand Inga Project” and 33 other outdoor adventure and conservation films will be shown at the second annual Lookout Wild Film Festival March 21 to 23 at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Centennial Theatre. Film descriptions and full schedules are available at www.lookoutfilmfestival.org

Mr. Fisher, a South African native who recently moved to Asheville, N.C., just returned from an expedition on the Upper Nile River in Uganda. While in Tennessee, he will also be visiting Jackson Kayak in Sparta, Tn., to pick up some new customized boats. Jackson, along with Red Bull and many other top brands, sponsor Mr. Fisher’s expeditions.

The famed kayaker says he is looking forward to coming to Chattanooga. “The Chattanooga area is quite well know for waterfalls,” he said. “A lot of paddlers head over there any time it rains.” 

Lookout Wild Film Festival director Andy Johns said the festival is thrilled to host a true paddling pioneer. “We knew several months back there was a chance Steve might be able to make it, so it was a very hard secret to keep as we waited to see if he would be back from the Nile,” said Mr. Johns. “Steve embodies the wild spirit that LWFF is all about and we are excited the festival can help welcome him to the Southeast.”

The Tennessee Valley Canoe Club will host an After Party following the screening. 

Mr. Fisher joins five other filmmakers who will be in attendance at the festival. That list includes:

Louis Lee, “Outdoor Chattanooga” (showing Saturday Night)

Joe Davenport, “The Light in the Everglades” (showing Saturday afternoon)

Chris Stiles, “Landlocked” (showing Friday Night)

Jeremy Monroe, “A Deeper Creek” (showing Saturday Night)

Luke McMahon, “Caves: The Social Underground” (showing Saturday afternoon) 

"I'm really looking forward to being able to meet with the audience,” said Mr. Lee, a Chattanooga area filmmaker. “Often your film is shown on a screen miles away and you can't experience the audience's reaction to it. Not only will I be able to know immediately if my film is well I received, but I'll be able to talk with the crowd right there in the auditorium.”

Mr. Fisher, Mr. Lee and the other filmmakers will all be part of Q&A sessions during the festival and mingle with audience members at parties following the screenings.

The “Congo: The Grand Inga Project” trailer is available at http://ingaproject.com/


Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Outdoor Chattanooga Featured Event Sunset History Tour by Kayak  August 11 Join Outdoor Chattanooga and the  Chattanooga History Center  for a beginner friendly,  guided kayak tour on the Tennessee River  on  Tues., Aug. 11 at 7 p.m.  We'll meet at Raccoon Mountain ... (click for more)

Hixson Neighborhood At The Lake, Coppinger Want Curbs On Hunting From Boats

Both a representative of a Hixson neighborhood on the lake and County Mayor Jim Coppinger said Wednesday they want curbs on hunters who fire weapons from boats near populated areas. Austin Seay said residents of Fairview Harbor on Jan. 25 heard gunfire from the lake and found that hunters were shooting waterfowl from a boat near the subdivision. He said 911 was called, but ... (click for more)

Zaxby's To Go In Across From Bass Pro Shop At New I-75 Exit 1 Development In East Ridge

A new Zaxby's will be built across from Bass Pro Shop at I-75's Exit 1 in East Ridge, developer John Healy said Thursday night. He said other restaurants and hotels are also coming to the Jordan Crossing site at the entrance to Camp Jordan Park. Mr. Healy said he hopes to make a "significantly larger" announcement soon. The East Ridge City Council, at a special called meeting, ... (click for more)

Young Man Involved In Incident That Led To A Murder Gets Diversion, Praise For Testifying

A young man who was involved in an incident that led to a murder has been given diversion and praised for testifying against co-defendants. Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman said a conviction for facilitation of an aggravated robbery can be expunged if Dustin Hayes gets in no further trouble for six years. The judge said, "We wouldn't be dealing with 40 shootings a year ... (click for more)

The Silence Is Deafening - And Response

In this week’s news cycle we have the international uproar over the killing of Cecil the lion. In the same time most national news outlet refuse to even mention the undercover videos of so call doctors and technicians discussing the harvesting, processing and sale of human baby body parts.  The argument by those liberal, progressive Democrats has been that the “fetus” was ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: They Still Love The ‘Lickers’

When Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fl.) introduced the 2015 version of the “Prevent All Soring Tactics” in Congress this week, he already had a bipartisan crowd of 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats as co-sponsors. That’s hardly amazing. Today there are over 280 organizations, associations, veterinary and animal advocates who vehemently support the legislation, because it is well documented, ... (click for more)