Gauley Animal Race

September 16, 2024

Location: Upper Gauley River


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Animal Race 2024

This year we will celebrate the 31st year of The Upper Gauley Animal Race, gathering again to compete in multiple crafts along a 9.8 mile stretch of class IV/IV+ whitewater. The race begins at the lower put in of Summersville Dam with a chaotic mass start of all racers who will fight their way down to the finish line at the upstream face of Postage Due Rock in Sweets Falls Rapid. Paddlers will need physical endurance, and solid boating skills to prevent trouble on this long powerful river. Bracing, stamina, precise maneuvering and big water experience are all required to have a successful safe run in the competition. Mark your calendars, and get training for the 31st race down the Beast of the East.

Animal Race Pricing

Individual Registration

Includes individual race registration, race bib & after party admission.

Advance Registration


Day of Registration


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Raft Team Registration

Includes raft team race registration, race bib & after party admission.

*Add $25 for Race Day registration.







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Event Schedule

Monday, September 16, 2024

8:30 am

Racer Check-in/Late Registration @ Fat Eddie's

10:30 am

Shuttle Leaves Mason's Branch

11:45 am

Pre-Race Briefing

12:00 pm

Race Starts

2:00 pm

Finish Line Party @ Sweets Falls

6:00 pm

Afterparty & Awards @ Wood Iron

Shuttle Logistics

Thank goodness the Gauley is a straight shuttle because it will make race day easier for everyone! The morning of the race head to Fat Eddie’s, Check-in (or register), pick-up your bib and packet, and DROP YOUR BOAT at the Dam. Then drive to Mason’s Branch, where an ACE shuttle will meet you to bring you (not your boat!) back to the dam. Keep in mind, there is overflow parking up the hill from Mason’s Branch, but it’s a trek, so carpooling is encouraged.

Classes & Awards

Regardless of pre-registration numbers, paddlers will be grouped based on boat material (Composite, Plastic, and Inflatable PVC or Hypalon) to ensure fairness in competition. In addition, the fastest man and fastest woman will be named King and Queen of the Gauley receiving awards and recognition.

Further breakdowns of awarded classes will be determined based on pre-registration which will close on Thursday, September 14th at midnight. Classes will be further specified by, gender, boat size, and age based on the following pre-registration requirements:

• If 3 in a class ONLY 1st place will be awarded
• If 3-6 in a class 1st and 2nd place will be awarded
• If 7+ in a class 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be awarded

Paddlers will have the opportunity for day of registration in one of the pre-determined classes, but new classes cannot be added day-of due to timing logistics.

Raft Teams
Raft Teams greater than 1 person need to register as a team. R1’s need to register individually.
R2 – $80 (Race Day Registration Add $25)
R3/R4 – $120 (Race Day Registration Add $25)
R5/R6 – $160 (Race Day Registration Add $25)

The Awards and After-party will take place at Wood Iron Eatery in Fayetteville starting at 6PM. Stay tuned for more details.

Logistics & Rules

Check-in the morning of the event will happen at Fat Eddie’s by the Dam. Racers must check-in here prior to setting shuttle at Mason’s Branch.

ACE shuttle will meet you at Mason’s Branch at 10:30am. This shuttle will bring you (not your boat!) back to the dam. Keep in mind, there is overflow parking up the hill from Mason’s Branch, but it’s a trek, so carpooling is encouraged.

All participants must complete the ACE General Liability Waiver online. Please complete this waiver prior to check in. Find the waiver HERE, enter the date September 16th, click special events then Gauley Animal Race to start your waiver.

Event Rules

The Gauley Animal Race spans sections of whitewater rapids which require a level of competency in the boat and familiarity with the run. While we provide safety throughout the course for emergency situations, paddlers are expected to be able to confidently paddle the included section of whitewater. By registering for this race you are acknowledging the inherent risk that comes with our sport, and are confirming you have the ability to paddle this section of whitewater.

1. Participants are expected to respect themselves, fellow competitors, and the River.
2. Watercrafts must be non-motorized.
3. Drug & alcohol use is prohibited in the National Recreation Area & during the race.
4. Participants must have the competency in their chosen craft to paddle the included section of Whitewater.

Upper Gauley – Beast of the East

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