Boatercross featured at OKC Whitewater Festival this weekend

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Question: What do you get when you combine the sport of competitive kayaking with the frenetic physical contact of snowboard cross?

Answer: boatercross.

In 2002, an editorial inĀ Rapid Magazine billed this obscure sport as “the drama that whitewater has been missing.” Basically, the contest pits two or more kayakers against one another in a go-for-broke race through a pre-determined rapids course.

During the OKC Whitewater Festival this weekend at the Riversports District, boatercross (also spelled boaterX and/or boatrx) will be one of the main events.

In traditional competitive kayaking, competitors race solo through a series of gates on a whitewater course and vie for the fastest time. At the this weekend’s boatercross, however, multiple kayakers will heave themselves of the bridge at the course’s east end to begin the race, sort of like how snowboarders launch out of a starting gate in boardercross. After hitting the water, it’s basically a free-for-all, complete with “combat rolls.” Boat-to-torso contact is essentially guaranteed.

The boatercross event will kick off at 1 p.m. today, and the Oklahoma Mesonet forecasts that it will be mostly sunny with a high of 91. The event is free, but parking is listed as $10.

The full schedule as listed on Riversport’s web site is below.

Full OKC Whitewater Festival schedule

Saturday, May 19
8 a.m. John Rex Elementary School Dragon Boat Challenge
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Jackson Kayak Whitewater Clinic
11 a.m. RIVERSPORT Whitewater Rafting League Championships
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Rafting & Adventures Open!
11 a.m.-1 p.m. Free Popup Mercy Fitness Classes:
11 a.m. Yoga
11:30 a.m. Foam Rolling & Stretching
Noon H.I.I.T.
12:30 p.m. Kickboxing & Abs
11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dog Adoption Event with Country Roads Animal Rescue and Ninth Street Barking Lot
11 a.m.-5 p.m. The Next Olympic Hopeful
Noon-6 p.m. Red Bull Pump Track World Championship US Qualifier
1 p.m. Michelob Ultra BoaterX Extreme Racing
2 p.m. Kayak Giveaway Drawing

Sunday, May 20
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Jackson Kayak Whitewater Clinic
10:30-11 a.m. Free Pop-Up Mercy Fitness Class Foam Rolling & Stretching
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Rafting & Adventures Open!
1 p.m. World Kayak Slalom Survivor