Photography by: John Webster
Idaho boasts some of the wildest whitewater in the world, bringing world-renowned athletes to the banks of Highway 55 on the North Fork of the Payette River. On June 13th, 2019 head down to Banks, Idaho because you won’t want to miss the greatest show on whitewater. This year the North Fork Championship will be the Extreme Kayak World Championship, hosting the best kayakers from all over the world to fight for the title of World Champion and King and Queen of the North Fork World Championship. Get ready for the rowdiest whitewater weekend of your life.
TIPS & TRICKS
Come Early and Carpool: Located conveniently close to the Idaho’s capital, less than an hour away from Boise, drawing athletes from around the world and right off the side of Highway 55, the North Fork Championship is accessible and busy. Parking is limited so save gas, the environment, and traffic congestion by carpooling. You’ll thank us later when you don’t have to walk miles to the main event.
Come Prepared: Although easily accessible, the NFC is remote. This means you’ll need to come prepared with protection from the heat, fuel for your body and beer for your party. Even though it’s only June, the sun is hot on the river (Bring sunscreen and water!). When watching the main event, you can grab a front row seat on the rocks on the banks of the river. Bring a lawn chair or blanket! Athletes will rush down the river just feet in front of you. Although there are vendors for tasty treats and trendy gear (Bring cash!), beer cannot be sold alongside the river.
Bring Your Own Beer: Payette Brewing is the “official beer of the North Fork Championship”. We recommend that you pick up a weekend’s worth of their flagship beer, the North Fork Lager and a few of their limited edition North Fork World Championship beer, Jacob’s Ladder Lager.
Payette Brewing Co. will release Jacob’s Ladder Lager at the brewery during the River Symposium on June 11th, so pick it up then! It will be available in 16 oz. cans and sold throughout the weekend while supplies last. But if you forget to buy beer in town, don’t worry because Jacob’s Ladder Lager will be available all weekend long at the whitewater festival in Crouch. Payette Brewing crafted Jacob’s Ladder Lager to celebrate the North Fork
PAYETTE BREWING CO. AND THE NFC
Payette Brewing has been heavily involved with the North Fork Championship since its start, not only because of how amazing the whitewater event is, but because it speaks straight to who Payette Brewing is as a company. Founded the same year, Payette Brewing Co. and the NFC have had a special relationship as they both grow, sticking together.
Mike Francis, Payette Brewing Co. founder and owner, named his brewery based on his love for kayaking on the Payette River – right where the rowdy whitewater festival takes place. When he opened the brewery, the North Fork Lager quickly became one of their flagship brands, and still is today.
The culture around the brew crew at Payette Brewing is centered around an adventurous spirit, seeking outdoor activities and thrill. “It’s the exact reason we decided to put our beer in cans right off the bat – so we could bring it along on our adventures,” says marketing director Paige Francis. She says the crew lives and works by the motto of adventure. “Making beer is a labor of true love and we work hard at it. But it’s the after hours skiing, hiking, camping and kayaking that recharge and inspire us.”
Check out Payette Brewing Co. at their kick-off event to the NFC on June 12th at 6:00 PM located at 733 S. Pioneer St., right off of River St. They’ll also have a booth along Highway 55, where they’ll be giving out free hot dogs.
JUNE 11TH –
6:00 PM – River Symposium – Payette Brewing
Payette Brewing is the official beer of North Fork Championship and to kick off this year’s event, we bring you our second Wild River’s Symposium! Together, we will talk about the issues that impact the future of our special rivers, engage participants in current events and research from a large array of river companies, influencers and philanthropists. This will also be the release of the 2019 North Fork World Championship beer by Payette Brewing sold in 16 oz. cans!
10:30 AM – Kokatat Qualifier – North Fork Payette
6:30 PM – Whitewater Award Show – The Egyptian Theatre
8:00 PM – Semi-Finalist Announcements @ Whitewater Awards
3:00 PM – The North Face Semi Finals – North Fork Payette
6:00 PM – NFC Whitewater Festival – Weilmunster Park – Crouch
6:30 PM – Live Music @ NFC Whitewater Festival – Weilmunster Park – Crouch
1:00 PM – NFC World Championship Finals – North Fork Payette
3:00 PM – Stoke Float – North Fork Payette
6:00 PM – NFC Whitewater Festival – Weilmunster Park – Crouch
Come enjoy the evening at Weilmunster Park filled with yard games, slow bike races, and general ruckus! Food provided by Idaho Rivers United and beer courtesy of Payette Brewing.
7:00 PM – The North Face Semi Final Awards – Weilmunster Park
8:00 PM – Awards Ceremony – Weilmunster Park – Crouch
JUNE 16TH –
9:00 AM – Family Day – Weilmunster Park – Crouch
June 13th – 10:30 AM
A downriver sprint on S Turn Rapid. It is available to the best kayakers in the world competing in the NFC World Championship. Racers will begin at the top of S Turn and finish under the Kokatat banner at the bottom. The top 40 males and top 10 females will live to race again on Friday in The North Face Semi Finals. These top 50 racers will be announced at the LIVE Whitewater Awards event in Boise later this evening 6 PM at Egyptian Theatre.
THE NORTH FORK SEMIS
June 14th – 3:00 PM
The North Face Semi Finals is down S – Turn rapid. The Top 40 males and Top 10 females from the Kokatat Qualifier will compete in a head to head (where the fastest will face off with the slowest from the qualifier – one boat on course at a time) and the winner will live to compete in the Finals in the Main Event on Jacob’s Ladder!
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS
June 15th – 1:00 PM
A Giant Slalom race comprised of gates through Jacob’s Ladder and Golf Course’s Class V+ whitewater. It is a timed race. If a racer hits a gate they will face a five second penalty, and missed gates will add fifty seconds to their final time. Athletes will get two runs, and the better time will be kept for their score. Paddlers charge off the Red Bull ramp above Jake’s to initiate the start of their run, and continue through the end of Golf Course and the last Toyota gate where their time will end. The racers who turn in the fastest time will be crowned King and Queen of the North Fork Championship and will be the NEW World Champion. Twenty male paddlers and 5 females will be selected to compete in this division after placing in the Kokatat Qualifier and The North Face Semi Finals.