Spring is upon us! Bend Oregon’s Annual Riverhouse Rendezvous Deschutes River Whitewater Slalom Kayak Race returns, March 30th & 31st.
Originally a slalom race in the 70’s, the Rendezvous was resuscitated nine years ago by Geoff Frank (Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe founding partner and owner) and Bert Hinkley (Pacific Northwest representative for the National Whitewater Slalom Committee). It’s now organized by Tumalo Creek Programs Director, Topher Robertson.
Whitewater slalom kayaking has been a sport since the 1940s, when Swiss alpine skiers embraced the runoff from the mountains to race the rivers in their off-season. Today, this sport is known world-wide to test not only the physical skill of paddlers, but their knowledge of the river and their ability to use currents and river features to their advantage.
The course is run on a popular section of the Deschutes River behind the Riverhouse Hotel, at 3065 N Hwy 97, Bend, OR 97701. As the season’s opener for the Northwest Cup Slalom Paddle Series and a Junior Olympic qualifier, the Rendezvous is also an opportunity for local whitewater enthusiasts to celebrate navigable flow levels before canal diversions are made in April.