Great Raft Race Participants Gear Up For Monday's Event

Sunday, September 3rd 2017, 6:53 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa raft racers are primed and ready to launch.  The third annual event is expected to get going Monday morning.  

The Arkansas River will be the back drop for all of the quirky rafts. 

Organizers say this is all about fun, but they hope it's also one more way to keep bringing attention to this natural resource.  Just beyond the river, sits a long row of intricate and basic customized creations.  Each one starting with a simple idea.

"This is purely fun," said race participant Ryan Roberts.

Ryan Roberts and his crews represents "On the Cusp Pediatric Dentistry."  But looking at their unicorn and monkey themed float you wouldn't know that.

"We've got a great resource a natural resource in Tulsa and we want to show everyone that it's safe to get in the water," said Ryan Roberts.

Bringing attention to Tulsa's natural resource is one of the main goals of Tulsa's Great Raft Race. 

"How can we engage the public what can we do to activate the river," said Seth Erkenbeck.  

Seth Erkenbeck is the race director.   He says the trails along the river are popular.  The Gathering Place development is only helping the river become a bigger landmark. And this yearly race is also helping with that.

"The river is going to be like a new playground for Tulsa you'll see people canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding," said Seth Erkenbeck.

When the vessels launch, captain and crew should expect a four hour float from start to finish.  The first boats will go in around 8 a.m.

"Sand Springs is really a great place to watch because if people are going to sink or swim it usually happens right at launch," said Seth Erkenbeck.

If the boats sink they'll be plenty emergency crews around to help.  If they make the voyage, they'll come out at the West Festival Park in Tulsa. 

"First thing in the morning. We're going to jump in and see if it floats," said Seth Erkenbeck.

In addition to the race there's going to be a long list of family activities happening around the finish line.  You can find a schedule of events on the Tulsa Great Raft Race website.