Canada's Largest Whitewater Race Returns To Petawawa | Rapid Magazine | Rapid Media
Canada's Largest Whitewater Race Returns To Petawawa Photo: Courtesy HOHW Petawawa

--Press release provided by HOHW Petawawa--

The whitewater rapids of the Petawawa are calling your name!  Grab a few close friends and enter a team in the guided raft races of white 7 (HOHW7).  A charity event, HOHW is held each Mother's Day weekend, this annual event is  the largest whitewater race in the country and among the largest in the world.  It features canoes, kayaks, stand up paddle boards (SUP) and of course, the main event - the guided raft races.

The guided raft race sees teams of six taking to the water in guided rafts, trying to beat their friends or trying to beat the clock while have a fast, fun and thrilling ride through the rapids of the Petawawa. Although these races are really just for fun, the quality of the rapids draws people from across eastern Canada to the Ottawa Valley.

"This is a great chance for anyone with an adventurous spirit to try rafting and tackle some great whitewater! In the spring, the rapids on this section of river compare with the some of the best in the country," explains Philip Kompass, co-organizer. "It's only $25 to enter, and that includes all your equipment including the wetsuit, as well as a trained and qualified raft guide to get your team down safely. I can't promise you won't get a little wet on the way though."

The event will see thousands of spectators over the course of the weekend, and close to 600 competitors (~70 raft teams and close to 100 kayaks and canoes).  The event typically attracts professional and amateur whitewater enthusiasts including Olympic-class slalom boaters and World Cup winning raft teams. Even if you aren't racing, just watching these skilled athletes take to the rapids is a lot of fun.

In addition to the whitewater events, HOHW7 will also feature riverside camping, boat, SUP and equipment demos in the flatwater pond, a riverside DJ, a free photo contest, kids inflatables, yoga classes, a rock climbing wall and local outdoor and adventure sport vendors. It is truly a family friendly event that celebrates all  kinds of great outdoor adventure sports.

"All the details can be found on the website, including lots of pictures of past events so people can get a sense of just how much fun these races are," adds Kompass. "It is all about bringing people outside, enjoying the fresh air, exercise and excitement of paddle sports and we really hope the community comes out to support these athletes and just enjoy the river."

In celebration of local rivers and the recreational opportunities they provide to residents, the HOHW organizers with the support of the event sponsors are actively working to keep the costs as low as possible. With the exception of the guided raft races all other activities are entirely free of charge. Any money that is raised will be donated to Whitewater Ontario and the Petawawa River Rats, a local paddling club. The title sponsor for this year's event is NRS ( with additional support from Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (, Kokatat (, Trailhead Ottawa Paddleshack  ( and a number of other local businesses and organizations.

Hell or High Water is run entirely by a small team of volunteers and has raised more than $45,000 for community causes close to the hearts of people here in the Ottawa Valley.


Twitter: @hohwpetawawa


Related items


Join 100 000+ fellow paddlers! Get the latest paddling news and special offers delivered straight to your inbox.  


1 (613) 706-0677