Looking Back At The ChattaJack | 31-Mile Race on the Tennessee River

The Tennessee River Gorge provides a serene arena for paddlers attempting a surreal feat. Last Saturday, 300 world-class endurance racers converged there to take on the grueling 31-mile course at the annual ChattaJack River Race. It was the largest showing in the event's four year history by more than 100 paddlers. Welcome back, ChattaJack! Photo: Mike Tavares (@rivershred)

The Tennessee River Gorge provides a serene arena for paddlers attempting a surreal feat. On Saturday, 300 ambitious athletes joined in the Gorge to take on the grueling 31-mile course at the ChattaJack River Race. It was the largest showing in the event’s four year history by more than 100 paddlers. Welcome back, ChattaJack! Photo: Mike Tavares (@rivershred)

A Look Back at the Fourth Annual ChattaJack River Race

Last Weekend’s 31-mile Race In The Tennessee River Gorge

On Saturday, the highest caliber of hardcore athletes, hailing from all corners of the globe, convened by the hundreds in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the 4th annual ChattaJack River Race. At 8 a.m., Tennessee time, the race commenced with a water start in downtown Chattanooga, where athletes wielding SUPs, canoes, kayaks, surf skis and prone boards embarked on the whopping 31-mile stretch—the complete length of the Tennessee River gorge.

This year saw 300 racers from more than 33 states and five different countries register for ChattaJack, up more than 100 registrants from last years race. Most paddlers took between five and eight hours to finish the course, reaching the finish line at Hales Bar Marina to greetings from community members, volunteers and fellow paddlers.

Among the 300 racers was an impressive array of professional SUP talent. Trainer Larry Cain synched a commendable first place finish in the Mens’ 14′ division with an impressive time of 4:58:01, followed closely by Bart de Zwart, an adventure paddler nominated for Top Expedition at this year’s SUP Awards who finished merely 11 seconds behind. The third-place spot on the podium was claimed by river guru Mike Tavares.

Many of the top female paddlers at last year’s ChattaJack returned again this year including Kim Barnes, a staple in the pages of SUP magazine,  Kim Hillhouse and Seychelle Hattingh. This year’s female top-3 in the 14′ division was comprised of Lizi Ruiz (1st), who last year placed fifth in the 12’6″ division, followed by Anya Yurchenko who upped her third-place result from last year  to finish second more than eleven minutes behind with a time of 5:55:41. Finally, third-place finisher Milla Navarro rounded out the podium for the elite SUP women with a time of 6:02:38.

For a full list of results in all race divisions, visit the ChattaJack website.

Even though a 31-mile course may intimidate some paddlers, anyone was welcome to join in on the fun and that they did. Professionals and amateurs alike all participated in the race, and we can guarantee that almost all of them won’t hesitate to sign up for the torture again next year.

Video Recap from the 2014 ChattaJack River Race:

Stay tuned for the 2015 video!

Delve deeper with our recap from the 2014 ChattaJack.