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Mon., June 19, 2017, 12:16 p.m.

NF Payatte delivers big water for kayaking championships

2017 North Fork (Payette River) Championship kayaking course. (Courtesy)
2017 North Fork (Payette River) Championship kayaking course. (Courtesy)

PADDLING -- The North Fork Payette River has never been beginner water in the first half of June, but this year even the experts had their hands full of flow at the North Fork Championship.

The annual race held last weekend can always be expected to test some of the world’s best kayakers in one of the nation’s most challenging rivers. The high flows in the North Fork for the 2017 event were even more difficult.

“This is ... probably the most extreme kayak event to ever happen,” Boise kayaker Micah Kneidl told Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman.

The river flow dropped to 3,940 cubic feet per second Thursday evening for qualifiers, down from nearly 6,000 earlier last week. It was below 1,800 cfs for last year’s races, Cripe reported.

“This event, we’ve always had low water and this year we have high water,” organizer James Byrd said, emphasizing safety preparations before the race.

The result: The North Fork was a great place for mere mortals to be spectators over the weekend.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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