Posted: Jun 30, 2013 8:36 AM by Keele Smith - MTN News
Gallatin County has a thriving whitewater community--which is coming to life this time of year.
Since 1978- experienced kayakers, canoers and rafters have come together for some friendly competition.
The Gallatin River Whitewater Festival kicked off today with the community raft slalom Competition.
And you didn't have to be a pro to compete.
"We've never gone whitewater rafting before," a nervous, but excited Heather Kruger said.
A local river guide led each team down to the finish line.
But getting there wasn't all that simple.
One of three gates, Screaming Left, is where the teams must paddle up stream before heading down to the finish line.
While some of the teams were more experienced, the point of the race wasn't to win - but to get new paddlers in on the fun.
"Rafting is a great, great fun sport, a great way to experience the river," said one of the organizers, Zinn. "We have some really good companies here on the Gallatin. So hopefully people will see that and continue to get involved in the sport."
The teams were all smiles after pushing it to the finish.
The beginners not only had a blast but plan on coming back for more.
"I can't believe I've never done that before. I'm definitely going to do it again," said Kruger.
The festival continues tomorrow with races for more experienced whitewater folks.
For more information, click here.