Ocoee River Basin Foundation is inviting the public to attend the second Annual Ocoee River Championships, a three-day whitewater competition/festival held on the historic Ocoee River in the Cherokee National Forest. Admission is free to watch the nation’s top whitewater competitors.
Competitors from as far away as Costa Rica will compete in whitewater slalom, downriver sprint and boatercross racing, along with freestyle competition. The family-friendly event will include live music, community, arts & crafts and industry vendors. There will also be entertainment for kids, along with food and beverage vendors. More information is available at www.ocoeeriverchampionships.com.
Last year's event saw the return of competition to the Upper Ocoee Olympic Course for the first time in nearly 20 years. In 2017, a grassroots group of enthusiasts banded together to reinstate whitewater competition on the Upper Ocoee using the $40 million facility for its original purpose, and in that ORC was born. The competition draws attention to the area and serves as an economic driver for Ocoee River Basin communities. Ocoee rafting is responsible for $43 million in economic activity and about 600 jobs annually.
The Ocoee River Basin features easy access to incredible whitewater for rafting, kayaking and canoeing, as well as numerous mountain biking and hiking trails. The Ocoee River is a man-enhanced natural riverbed managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority that features some on the best whitewater in the country, in a beautiful mountain setting, and was a venue for the 1996 Olympics. The area has long been a training ground for both world-class athletes and passionate weekend warriors, and is also a mecca for those seeking relaxation in a beautiful, unique setting.