New competition adds fun to Coosa River Whitewater Festival

WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) - What in the world is going on at a ramp on the Coosa River in Wetumpka?

One after another, competitors take the plunge in their kayaks off what's known as the 50-foot Big Air Ramp on the banks of the Coosa.

"The object is doing different tricks and not get hurt," Kyle Katich said with a laugh.

The Big Air Ramp is only one part of the overall competition in the Coosa River Whitewater Festival this weekend. Today was practice day for contestants. Hundreds are expected.

The air ramp will be part of the festival for the first time. Lonnie Carden started it all back in 1985.

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"It's quiet except for this weekend," said Carden.

The events include things like the kayak rodeo, boat and canoe races and river board events. Organizers say there are events for all age and skill levels.

Much like it was in 1985 the festival remains a fundraiser, generating on average of around $13,000 a year. Festival winners will receive trophies, no cash.

"It goes to rescue squads, volunteer fire departments," said Carden.

Back at the big ramp we found Hunter Katich trying to perfect his mid-air trick. Competitors admit there is a potential danger flying off the ramp but then that's what makes it fun.

"It can hurt and you can jam your backm," said Kyle Katich.

But not their confidence.

Friday is another practice day for participants. The games begin Saturday morning at 9 at the Coosa Outdoor Center/Southern Trails at 172 River Road in Wetumpka.

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