Kayakers Compete in Gallatin Whitewater Festival - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Kayakers Compete in Gallatin Whitewater Festival

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Some sports may slow down during the summer months, but for outdoor adventurers, this is the best time of the year.

The kayaks are gathered, waiting to hit the water.

The riders are ready, carrying the boats.

They inch closer, slide a bit, and they're in.

This is the Gallatin Whitewater Festival.

It's the start of the House Rock BoaterCross race.

"There's the BoaterCross,” said Dan Hurtz. “Where there is everybody and the first person to cross wins."

This race includes 25 boaters, including former Montana State track athlete Andrew Wharton.

"I've always wanted to do it since I was in 5th grade,” Wharton said. “It just looked like a rush. It gave me a totally different perspective on the river. It's one of the only things that i do where you get out there and you can't focus on anything else. You just have to focus on what's right in front of you. Everything else kind of goes away, and you're boating."

Once everyone is in the water, collectively they take off, and quickly they head into the rough rapids.

"You're just kind of looking for where the fastest water is flowing,” said Hurtz. “Right next to the rocks or right off center of the waves, you kind of aim your line. You don't always hit it."

"You just paddle as fast as you can. You try to stay in the fast water, and watch out for the holes, and watch out for rocks."

The first one down to the finish line wins the race, but sometimes things can go upside-down in a hurry.

At the end of the day, it's all about having some fun on the water.

"It's great,” said Hurtz. “It's a lot of fun. Half the fun is just being out on the river. You start easy and work your way up. This is a great river."

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