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Upper Yough Race / Festival

Posted: 07/16/2007
By: Ben Van Camp

The 3rd Yough Festival and 27th Upper Yough Race are taking place on July 28th, 2007!  The event features a small town America family atmosphere folk / bluegrass celebration of the Youghiogheny River. For this special event a 6 hour Upper Yough Race dam release has been scheduled from 11am to 5pm.

On Saturday July 28th morning, from 9 am to 1:00 pm, we will be taking registration for the 27th Upper Yough Race at the liquor store parking lot across from Mountain Surf, Inc. Due to increased insurance costs entry fee for the race is $30.00 and includes, insurance, timing, T-shirt, Band, Prizes, finish line refreshments, and Festival admittance. A great variety of food vendors will be available in the festival site, Friendsville Town Park.

The race will start 5:00 PM. at Gap falls stretch rock to Kendall pool. The starter will set racers off at 1-minute intervals. Those who want to race with a friend for safety or fun purposes will need to present themselves to registration at the same time. Registration will END Promptly at 1:00 PM! The starting positions will be posted shortly there after. Driving and boating to the starting line will take you around 1 hour. Please give yourself plenty of time to get to the starting line.

Boat classes include Men's, Women's, Wildwater, Wavehopper, Slalom, K2, Creek boat, Play boat, Canoe, Ducky, and Raft. The result publication will reflect all of these classes for your enjoyment and recognition. Prizes will be award for overall speed by both men and women, along with prizes for each race class. If you want to be in the top six you will probably need great boating skill, many runs down the Upper, a longer boat and good physical conditioning. The fastest times from 2006 were set by Andrew McEwan (27:47) and Chara Whittemore (34:26).

Team Friendsville has a special request to the general boating public from regarding the use of Saturday's special "Upper Yough Race Dam Release". We ask that you respect the desire of our racers to have an open and clear race course. The race starts near the end of the release, 5:00 pm. Please be aware of time pull over and watch the racers compete for the coveted Upper Yough Race Cup.

Team Friendsville is hoping for a large turn out, the Yough Festival committee is planning ambitiously on fun event features. Any proceeds above event expenses will go to river stewardship organizations like AW. Big events need big help; if you frequent the Upper Yough and have a little time we would like you to join our group of volunteer members. We mostly like to go boating and eat and oh ya plan and execute this event.

Team Friendsville hopes you can make it! Any Race Questions e-mail


Yough Festival Schedule
9 AM to 1 PM-- Upper Yough Race registration at Liquor store parking lot.

10 AM to 2PM-- Flat Water Paddling on Yough Lake (Pat Hamlin)

12 Noon-- Festival gate opens. $5.00 entry fee, all proceeds over expenses will go to river conservation  and protection. There will be river equipment, boats, and food Vendors, Educational, and conservation booths, Central location for activities meeting place, an nat…

1 PM -- Alan Klotz ,MD Department of Natural Resources Western Region Fisheries Manager will give a demonstration of fish electro shocking in Beak Creek at the Park. Alan is an expert in fish propagation and works many hours over time in sharing his knowledge with the public.

3 PM-- Harold Harsh, owner of  Spring Creek Outfitters and Trout Unlimited leader will give a demonstration on fly fishing. Harold is an expert on fly fishing the rivers in this area.

4:45 PM-- Precision rafting will be running a sort of float the river hay ride in rafts from their location on Maple Street, down Town Friendsville, MD., to the Town Park, only to turn around and do it again and again until the water runs out. This is an easy going family fun float. There is limited space, first come first serve. No charge, Precision Rafting is considered a major sponsor for this good deed.

4 PM -- Family Fun Race Meeting at park (Pat Hamlin)

4PM to10PM -- Music Bands start playing and go into the night.

  • The Old Riders of the Purple Haze (includes members of Half Time String Band) This is the feature band, They are generally thought of as a SLAM GRASS, bluegrass band, incredible!
  • Smith & Roberts, a local favorite, down home folk bluegrass assortment.
  • Dave Norris, Folk Bluegrass assortment.
  • And more, were still booking.

5 PM -- Family Fun Race Starts! Class II easy 1.5 mile race From south end of Water Street to the Town Park.  (Pat Hamlin)

5 PM-- Upper Yough Race Starts at Gap falls stretch rock to Kendall pool.

5 PM-- Kevin Dodge, Director of Natural Resources and Wildlife Technology Program at Garrett College will lead a group downstream along the Yough from the park (Festival Site). Kevin is well versed in the wildlife and plants that will be encountered along the way.

7 PM--Upper Yough Race Awards ceremony at festival site.

Note: The Upper Yough River corridor is accessible by way of hiking/biking trail on the east side of the River. Without going down the River in a water craft, this is virtually the only way to see the world class rapids and beauty that only the Youghiogheny river has to offer. The trail is marked with a gate and it will cost you approximately 3-4 miles up the trail before you get into a good whitewater spectator area, and it’s worth the 6-8 mile round trip if only to see the amazing River forest.

For All kinds of details please visit the Yough Festival website, (Camping, Lodging, Activities, Directions, Hiking, Fishing, Vendors, etc…)


Ben VanCamp

49 Johnston Blvd

Asheville, NC 28806

Phone: 828-713-5825
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