BOONE COUNTY — Twenty-seven competitors participated in the Second Annual Cooper’s Cup Flying Carp Canoe and Kayak Race on Saturday at Cooper’s Landing, a campground store and marina located on the 170.5 mile mark on the Missouri River. The competition consisted of two races, an adult and youth race (16 & under), and an adult canoe and kayak race. Bill Rotts and his daughter, Maggie, won the adult and youth race in 19 minutes and 34 seconds, and a canoe team of Eric Henpel and Rod Power won the canoe and kayak race in 19:17.
The course was 1-to-2 miles long and the river’s current was running at 7 mph. Competitors started and finished at Cooper’s Cove, while in-between passing three check points: Maiden’s Mouth, Scurvy Sandbar and Pirates Cove.
“It was hard to win, it was tough out there,” Rotts said. “The river was flowing fast, the competition was fierce, we had to deal with every level of difficulty.”
The competition was co-sponsored by the River Ladies Auxillary (RLA) and Missouri River Relief, two organizations devoted to cleaning-up and creating environmental awareness of the Missouri River.
“(The purpose of the race is) to have a good, hearty, rowdy competition,” RLA social chair and race organizer Heidi Bennett said. “And to connect people to the river so they can become more environmentally conscientious about it. That’s why we pair it with a clean-up in the morning.”
An estimated 50 volunteers spent the late morning and early afternoon cleaning-up the area around Coopers Landing, pulling out items such as refridgerators, washers and dryers.
“That’s the larger purpose of this,” Bennett said. “They don’t realize that the trash that they throw out on the side of K ultimately ends up in the Missouri River.”