In 1958, the Johnsburg Fish and Game Club organized the First Annual Hudson River Whitewater Derby, which became a nationally known competition. It began as a one-day, eight-mile race with 44 competitors on a course that ran the Hudson River from North Creek to Riparius, New York. The following year it grew to a two-day event with the addition of the popular slalom courses.
Whitewater slalom competitions involve navigating a decked canoe or kayak through hanging gates, testing the boaters’ ability to steer through a “wild river full of natural obstacles safely.”
The Hudson River Whitewater Derby quickly grew in popularity.