Paddle South National Championship underway in the Chattahoochee Valley

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - If you make your way down to the RiverWalk in Uptown Columbus this weekend, you may notice kayakers taking over the waters.

This is all part of Paddle South - the freestyling kayaking national championship.

Kayakers from across the country have taken over Uptown Columbus for the next two days for Paddle South, and nearly 60 kayakers will paddle their way to the gold on Saturday.

Tonight hopeful kayakers will compete in the preliminary competitions, earning their spot for tomorrow's final national championship competition.

There are eight different divisions in the national championship, ranging from all different ages.

One kayaker says if he qualifies today to compete it would be the best gift ever since today is his twelfth birthday.

"We're practicing now for the competition and you just have to be comfortable on the wave, I turned twelve today and I just got this new boat, so right here this is a paddle, use it for double diving and play boating.

Play boating is doing tricks, this is a full carbon fiber paddle with a bent shaft," said Liam Baartman, a Paddle South Kayaker.

Kayakers will be qualifying on Friday until around 8 p.m.

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