Posted in: Paddling Events / Article by: Naim Ferguson /
JD Davies at Waterwalker
introduced the outrigger paddling world to The Columbia River Gorge
20 years ago, since then it has become a paddling destination with two major races and a growing number of clubs and paddle sports. Now, Jeff Schnelle
of Paddle Dynamics
is introducing us to another ‘Gorge’, The Tennessee River Gorge
. Just about catty-corner to the Northwest in Eastern USA is the Tennesee River. 652 miles of freshwater
that winds through the state into the Cumberland Plateau, literally. Carving into the Platueu to create a 31-mile area known as the Tennesee River Gorge in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
It looks like we have another event to add to the US tour of beautiful places to paddle, and I can’t wait to get there myself.
Paddler, musician, race director
With stunning natural surroundings, the river was an ideal race course waiting for the right person to paddle along and make it happen. Ben Friberg (pictured left) was just the paddler to do that. In 2012 he launched the Inaugural Chattajack 31. -I can’t help but think of a certain beverage when viewing the branding, although the ’31’ has nothing to do with sour mash or whiskey barrels, but rather the mileage of the course. Paddler by day, jazz guitarist by night, Ben invited some close friends to participate in a low key, grassroots, point to point race in a stretch of river that is one of his favorite runs and right in his backyard. From 30 participants in its first event, to now hosting almost 600 entries in its 5th year (coming up October 28th).