MISSOULA- The Clark Fork River in downtown Missoula will be overflowing with Phonics Monkeys, McNasty's, and Space Godzilla's this week as the Montana Whitewater Championships come back to Brennan's Wave.
This marks the second straight year that the Garden City is playing host to the final event of the season for the US Freestyle Kayaking Association Tour, with competitors from all over the U.S., and even from Canada and New Zealand, tackling the wave right next to Caras Park.
Several local paddlers will also mix it up with the pros, hoping for a little home-river advantage. They'll hand out titles in under 13, under 18, pro, and open divisions and the top paddlers are giving Montana a ton of praise.
"It's awesome to get these people that have been literally the best paddlers in the wold, that have travelled the world, here in Missoula having a great time. And they all love Missoula," Luke Rieker, who co-owns Strongwater Paddle Sports, said.
"Most people that kayak, it's a labor of love. There's nobody out there making a million dollars. But we love what we do. And they're going to see the nation's top freestyle kayakers throwing down to win this point series, and put some cash in their pockets," added competitor Jason Shreder, who also owns Zoo Town Surfers.
They held heats for seeding on the river Wednesday and on Thursday, the event picks back up with semifinals at noon. A few hours later, they'll start crowning Montana Whitewater Champions on Brennan's Wave.