Blog Archive

2015-11-27 2015 World R6 Rafting Championships

We have arrived! After some lengthy travels for many of us, we are almost all assembled at the venue for the 2015 World Rafting Championships in West Java, Indonesia. Still to arrive are Bill (and most of our paddles), and Jenny our team nurse. All being well, we will see them tomorrow more...

2015-06-07 2015 Canadian R4 Rafting Championships

We again headed over to the Rouge river and New World rafting for a very well organised race. The first day was certainly busy, with the first 3 events all happening in one run down the river. The field was the biggest seen in recent years more...

2014-10-19 2014 World R4 Rafting Championships

On Oct 8th, 2014 I started my journey to the south, escaping the soon to be cold of the north yet again. This time however for a much better reason then usual. Myself and a few other Canadian boys were elected to be the R4 national Canadian team in summer of 2013. We trained hard up 'til the date of departure more...

2013-11-08 2013 World R6 Rafting Championships

We are all now in Rotorua, New Zealand, ready to get some training in for the upcoming World Rafting Championships. The team managed to converge on Okere Falls today for a few familiarisation runs down the Kaituna river. For some of us, it was the first time down, and it really is as good as everyone says! more...

2013-06-10 2013 Canadian R4 Rafting Championships

The first day of the Canadian rafting championships saw some great racing from the ladies teams. The Petawawa river was the venue for the sprint course, down Lovers and Catwalk rapids. Water levels were good, and provided challenging conditions for all the entrants. more...

2012-09-21 2012 Pan-American R6 Rafting Championships

At the end of September we made our way to Quebec to compete in our first international rafting event; the World Cup/Pan-American Championships. This event was not only our first international rafting competition but it would also act as the Canadian Championships, deciding which team would represent Canada at the 2013 World Rafting Championships in New Zealand. more...

2011-06-04 2011 Canadian R4 Rafting Championships

Fresh from our recent success at Hell or High Water 2011, we were determined to do well at the Canadian championships, our aim being to win and thereby qualify for the 2012 R4 worlds. On arriving at the Jaques-Cartier river north of Quebec city we found a quality run of fairly continuous grade 4 water on the Tewkesbury section. more...

2011-05-07 Hell or High Water 2011

The annual Hell or High Water festival is fast becoming an established Ottawa valley boaters favourite. After having had such a great time at last year's event; Hell or High Water 2010, we put in some training in the week leading up to the race - more...

2010-09-02 2010 Canadian R6 Rafting Championships

This is it! After countless early mornings training hard we were on our way. We had arrived in the Saguenay region of Quebec the previous night after a long drive from the Ottawa. Keen to hit the rivers and get some practice in before our first race against the Qubec teams, we drove up to St Stanislas and the Mistassibi. It did not dissapoint - more...

2010-06-08 The Rouge - Seven Sisters

Fresh from our successful run of the Kipawa, we set our sights on the series of drops on the Rouge river in Quebec. As soon as we could get a team together, a check of the levels confirmed that the waterfalls known as the Seven Sisters were all good to go. This time we bought some kayakers with us to run safety cover. more...

2010-05-07 The Kipawa

After having taken delivery of our brand new raft (thanks SOTAR!), we were keen to get out and run some rivers. The only problem - the driest spring and summer in living memory! With our plans for adventures further afield scuppered, we settled upon a low water Kipawa trip. more...

2010-05-01 Hell or High Water 2010

A fresh Mayday weekend in the Ottawa valley - what better opportunity to get out for the first run of the season? We wrapped up warm and headed to the superb Hell or High Water event. This event usually sees the Petawawa river in full spring flow, and this year was no exception. more...

The Kipawa

2010-05-07 The Kipawa

After having taken delivery of our brand new raft (thanks SOTAR!), we were keen to get out and run some rivers. The only problem - the driest spring and summer in living memory! With our plans for adventures further afield scuppered, we settled upon a low water Kipawa trip.

The Kipawa is a fantastic day trip up in the headwaters of the Ottawa catchment. The spring levels were more like a normal fall low flow of around 17 cumecs. At these levels, most of the rapids that are normally run ease off to grade 3, and the two rapids normally portaged become more of a realistic proposition. The biggest drop on the river is the Grandes Chutes, normally a boiling cataract, but reduced to a set of defined drops in low water.

Running the Grandes Chutes on the Kipawa

To get a full day on the water, we made the drive up the night before and camped within earshot of the Grande Chute. Waking up to a crisp spring morning we could see our breath as we made breakfast in the morning sunshine. Putting on just below the dam, the first few rapids were a little rocky in places. These passed without incident however, and served as a good warmup for things to come. Soon the river steepened up in front of us and dissapeared around a right hand bend. This heralded the run-in to the Grandes Chutes and we got out to scout what lay ahead. After a good look at a siphon just below the first drop, we decided to line the raft down this and get on below for the second drop.

Running the main drop of Pete's Dragon on the Kipawa

The only available eddy was a few metres from the lip of the drop, and so a few carefully placed padddle strokes saw us plunging into the maelstrom down the second fall. We hit the buffer wave at the top right as planned which pushed us out into the middle of the drop and cleared the stopper at the base of the falls cleanly. The base of the falls emerges from between the rock walls into a large calm pool, with our cheering barely audible above the roar of the rapids.

Running the main drop of Pete's Dragon on the Kipawa

The calm water only lasts a few hundred meters before dropping into the next rapid; Pete's Dragon, the second big challenge for us. The low water levels meant that we could pick our line down the main channel with confidence that we would clear the fierce hydraulics that normally lurk here. Every thing went to plan down this section of fantastic pushy whitewater. Several hundred meters of rapids followed down to the take out where the Kipawa meets the Ottawa. A great finale to one of the best whitewater runs in eastern Ontario.

Paddlers; Jon Booren, Matt Stanfield, Graham Ball, Gwyn Ashcroft

Photos; Jon Booren, Graham Ball

Good days on the river

All images Copyright Petawawa Raft Team

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