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November 22, 2017, 01:22:33 am
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Author Topic: Raft Race coming back?  (Read 8674 times)
Tulsa Zephyr
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« on: June 11, 2015, 12:42:42 pm »

I heard this morning that the Great Raft Race is returning on Labor Day, 9/07/15.  I don't know if it's true, but hope it is.  It used to be a lot of fun seeing some of the outrageous rafts and water cannon fights on the river.  I got to participate on a raft in 1986 and it was a blast!  Has anyone else heard this?
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Conan71
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2015, 02:12:48 pm »

I heard this morning that the Great Raft Race is returning on Labor Day, 9/07/15.  I don't know if it's true, but hope it is.  It used to be a lot of fun seeing some of the outrageous rafts and water cannon fights on the river.  I got to participate on a raft in 1986 and it was a blast!  Has anyone else heard this?

The rumor has been, ahem, floating around for awhile.  There was some real creativity in the rafts back then.  I really hope it makes a comeback.
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2015, 06:46:18 pm »

The rumor has been, ahem, floating around for awhile.  There was some real creativity in the rafts back then.  I really hope it makes a comeback.

I think you've been holding on to the joke as long as people have been waiting for the race.

If we get the new dams, mainly the Sand Springs one, we would have more control over water levels and hopefully could plan for events like this instead of just hoping the river is wet.
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AquaMan
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2015, 02:58:20 pm »

Has anyone considered what the river would look like right now if we had constructed three new dams downstream of the Keystone Dam? Even deflatable or collapsible dams still offer resistance to water flow. That would make for a very interesting Raft Race.

Word is that the spring rain from May won't allow lowering of the river from its current state until late July.
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2015, 03:20:55 pm »

Has anyone considered what the river would look like right now if we had constructed three new dams downstream of the Keystone Dam? Even deflatable or collapsible dams still offer resistance to water flow. That would make for a very interesting Raft Race.

Word is that the spring rain from May won't allow lowering of the river from its current state until late July.

And lots more rain coming tonight and this week
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2015, 07:07:41 am »

Has anyone considered what the river would look like right now if we had constructed three new dams downstream of the Keystone Dam? Even deflatable or collapsible dams still offer resistance to water flow. That would make for a very interesting Raft Race.

Yes, it would look exactly like it does now, except there would be a few bridge piers and abutment structures sticking up. 
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Tulsa Zephyr
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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2015, 04:04:42 pm »

www.tulsagal.net/2012/02/great-raft-race.html
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Tulsa Zephyr
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2015, 07:46:43 am »

It was announced today that the Great Raft Race will again take place on Labor Day, sponsored by PSO and KRMG.  Wish there had been more advance notice so folks could put together some really outstanding rafts like they had back in the day.  Should be fun   Cool
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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2015, 08:40:35 am »

Will be interesting.
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2015, 12:16:36 pm »

I went down to River West to watch the rafts for a little while. The planners did not help the cause by having this event while the park is closed which made it so their was basically no viewing area. The other thing that would help would be to make it so the rafts come in a bit more often. I know that is really hard to predict or control, but at least while I was there the pace was a bit slow to keep it interesting.

I did see the mayor driving around in a truck, so there was that....
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« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2015, 07:48:44 pm »

I went down to River West to watch the rafts for a little while. The planners did not help the cause by having this event while the park is closed which made it so their was basically no viewing area. The other thing that would help would be to make it so the rafts come in a bit more often. I know that is really hard to predict or control, but at least while I was there the pace was a bit slow to keep it interesting.

I did see the mayor driving around in a truck, so there was that....

Everyone said the best viewing areas were Sand Springs and 11th street bridge. The parking area wouldn't be a great place to watch even if it was open. Those other areas would probably be a better pace. The rafts had little in the way of power so they were all traveling at very different speeds. The idea of pacing them out a particular way is pretty ludicrous.

The Raft Race is historically on Labor Day and the Park is two weeks from complete. The park construction was started before the Raft Race was announced so there isn't much that could be helped there.
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Conan71
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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2015, 08:18:21 am »

Everyone said the best viewing areas were Sand Springs and 11th street bridge. The parking area wouldn't be a great place to watch even if it was open. Those other areas would probably be a better pace. The rafts had little in the way of power so they were all traveling at very different speeds. The idea of pacing them out a particular way is pretty ludicrous.

The Raft Race is historically on Labor Day and the Park is two weeks from complete. The park construction was started before the Raft Race was announced so there isn't much that could be helped there.

From what I had read on the web site, they were staging waves of rafts every 30 minutes, not sure if that was an attempt to “pace” them or simply keep it orderly for safety’s sake.

When we rode up to the finish area around 10:40 or so, no one had made it in yet.  We were sort of surprised as I figured some kayakers may have made it by then.  We had plans to cook for family in the afternoon so we couldn’t hang around.

Quote
RACE DETAILS
Age cutoff is 18 or 16, if accompanied by parent.
 
ALL members of your float team must check in at registration tent to sign waiver and check out individually once you’re off the river at the finish line.
 
Start Line Launch starting at 8:00am at River City Park Sand Springs. Waves of rafters will be staged every 30 minutes starting at 8:30.
 
Must have life jacket at launch and wear throughout race.
 
This year we will not have a timed race, next year we hope to add categories and a timing mechanism.
 
Pick up your shirt at finish line after party w/ photo ID.
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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2015, 08:28:29 am »

Went down to the river with my son, a dog, and a friend... and saw a ton of people down there. Lots of fun. We parked on the east side and walked over to the west side. People all along the way, over the bridges, in the parks, under the bridges... everywhere.

Everyone had a hellofalotta fun. Rafters. Spectators. There were water balloon fights between land and shore. One raft had a gasoline powered hose. Crews had "organized" paddle routines. Some were complex and artsy, others were Tom-Sawyer-unsafe-at-any-speed hybrids.

All were funny. All were having a good time.

If I don't participate next year, I am at least going down to watch again. What fun.
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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2015, 10:43:15 am »

I would love to see this eventually become something similar to Tulsa Tough in that people plan their weekend around it and it becomes much more than just a raft race.  Obviously it would be awesome if it reached its peak participation levels that it saw in the 80’s with 1,500 people in the water and 150,000 spectators lining the banks.  Maybe have a river festival that coincides with the event?  I know some people complained there should've been more food trucks and other activities on the west bank. 

If the low water dam can be fixed that makes Zink Lake a lot more attractive for these types of activities.  Look no further than OKC to see what other types of river-based recreation the city could help foster here.
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