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    Free-Style Kayaking World Championships on Nantahala Sept. 2-8

    A great week of competition, fun events, live music, children’s activities and spectator sports. Here’s what you can expect …

    Our week of official events kicks off at 6 pm on Monday, September 2 with the parade of athletes and official welcome ceremony in downtown Bryson City. The ceremony will include a performance by the Warriors of AniKituhwa, a traditional Cherokee dance group; and will be followed by the Big Air Show and music in downtown Bryson City.

    From a riverside ramp, kayakers are lauched high into the air before splashing down into the Tuckasegee River. Open to athletes and spectators alike. Kayaks are provided.

    The competition begins with the first heats at 11 am on Tuesday and continues through the quarterfinals and semifinals ending on Sunday with the finals and awards ceremonies. Close to 200 athletes from 29 countries will be competing in men’s & women’s & junior classes. About the competition

    Look for live music every night of the week at the venue in the Gorge and in Bryson City, where musicians will be performing throughout the streets of town. And, of course, many of the local restaurants and the brewery will be offering music throughout the week as well.

    Explore the Artisans’ Village with a variety of traditional mountain arts and crafts on display and for sale. You may find handmade jewelry, recycled glass art, pottery, organic herb and spice mixes and more. The Village is sponsored by Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center, which provides authentic Appalachian experiences with music programs, an artisans’ gallery, festivals, and classes in heritage crafts and culinary arts.

    Between competitions there are lots of fun paddle-sports activities for spectators and athletes alike … such as Fontana Lake demo tours, kayak races, head-to-head SUP race, team rodeo races, rubber duckie races, canoe ball race and more. There will also be fun activities for children like face painting and bouncy house; and vendors will be on site offering product demos, giveaways, interactive contests, official souvenirs and more.

    NOC Mini-Me Rodeo Tuesday. Teams of up to 4 paddlers surf the 2013 Wave earning points for spins, stunts and spectacular carnage. No rafting experience is necessary, just a adventurous spirit and comfort swimming in whitewater.

    Wave Sport Wesser Falls Extreme Race Wednesday. The race runs through the 2013 Wave and finishes in Fontana Lake. Top athletes negotiate the class 5 Wesser Falls, striving to find the fastest line and stay upright and ahead of the competition. The winner of each heat will progress to the next round, until a winner emerges from the final race.

    Bomber Gear SUP Race Thursday. Stand-up Paddleboarders race head-to-head through the 2013 Wave.

    Dagger Dash Attainment Race Thursday. 2013 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Champions competitors face off on the Nantahala River.

    Bomber Gear Dress for Success Challenge Friday. Open to paddlers of all ability, the challenge is a fun, approachable way to get involved. Competition takes place just downstream of the 2013 Wave.

    US Wildwater Nationals Classic Race Friday. The Race will begin at Ledge’s Rapid and finish below the 2013 Wave. A variety of classes promote fair competition. Cost is $20 for both Classic and Sprint (Sat.) components.

    Dagger presents 8-Ball Competition Friday. Paddlers race head-to-head negotiating gates, and trying not to get knocked off course.

    US Wildwater Nationals Sprint Race Friday. The race will start below the Nantahala Falls and finish below the 2013 Wave. Top athletes will paddle Wildwater boats and vie for the title of US Champion, but the event is open to everyone and multiple rec. classes will be available. Cost is $20 for both Sprint and Classic (Fri.) components.

    Wilderness Systems Lake Demos Saturday & Sunday. Free and available to paddlers and non-paddlers alike. Test out flat water boats and explore beautiful, tranquil Fontana Lake from NOC’s flat-water access, just a short walk downstream of the 2013 Wave.

    Wilderness Systems Challenge Saturday. Teams of 3 maneuver flat water boats around a course on Fontana Lake. Winners receive a Wilderness Systems prize pack. Suitable for paddlers of all ability levels.

    VIP Raft Race Saturday. VIPs race through Nantahala Falls and the 2013 Wave.

    Rubber Duckie Races Friday, Saturday & Sunday. $5 buys you a duckie and a chance to win great prizes. Proceeds benefit Swain County & Robbinsville High School Athletic Programs, PAWS No-Kill Pet Shelter, and the Nantahala Racing Club.

    AT Canoe Ball Saturday. Like to kayak? Like to play basketball? Register in teams of 3 or let us help you find a team in this canoe/basketball mix.

    Dagger Presents: The RPM Stern Squirt Session Sunday. Dust off your long boats, pull on your neoprene, don’t miss this retro rodeo on the Nantahala. Points are awarded for pirouettes, surfs and squirts, as well as style.

    Logo courtesy Dagger/ www.freestylekayaking2013.com

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