One raft at last year’s river battle was designed in a Mark Twain theme.

One raft at last year’s river battle was designed in a Mark Twain theme.

Kla-How-Ya battle returns to the Columbia River

The Gentlemen’s Leisure Club of Golden is bringing back the popular river battle on Saturday Aug. 24.

The Columbia River is about to become the battlegrounds of the second annual Kla-How-Ya River Battle.

The Gentlemen’s Leisure Club of Golden is bringing back the popular river battle on Saturday Aug. 24, where participants race down the river on canoes or homemade rafts.

“It was an old event that was done back in the ‘70s I think,” said Gentlemen’s Club member Eric Prasloski. “We decided this was something we should really do.”

Last year the event was paired with the Fall Faire in September, and had about 25 participants with eight canoes and two rafts. This year the club is hoping it will be even bigger.

“We’re hoping we can double it this year,” said Prasloski. “Ideally I would love to see the whole river filled with rafts, and for it to be a huge community event. But it takes time to build it up to that.”

All watercrafts, homemade or not, must be non motorized and tested to float. Participants must wear lifejackets, helmets are recommended, and each boat is required to have a rope and bail bucket.

The race starts at the Nicholson Bridge, and ends near the airport where there will be a barbecue for the participants and the spectators. The race is roughly 11 kilometres, which can take anywhere from 57 minutes (the fastest time last year), to just over two hours (the slowest time last year).

“It’s pretty cool to see the homemade rafts. But if you’re not into it, or you don’t have time, just grab your canoe, or grab your neighbour’s canoe, and come on out,” said Prosloski.

The cost to participate is $15 per person, which includes the barbecue at the end. Then the Riverhouse will be hosting an after party, starting at 6 p.m.

The race starts at 10:30, but participants have to be there at 10 a.m. for a watercraft inspection. Early registration (which can be done at riverbattle@gmail.com), is highly recommended, but teams can register up until 10 a.m. on the day of the race.

For more information go to www.gentlemenofgolden.org.