RiverFest 2018 comes to a close with paddleboarding competition

VIDEO: RiverFest 2018 comes to a close with paddleboarding competition
Updated: May. 6, 2018 at 4:04 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Professionals, amateurs, and even kids, all hopped on a board for some competition in the Hooch at RiverFest.

"It's really incredible, it's a sport that literally anybody can do from all skill levels and you can do it anywhere and anytime," said Connor Baxter, a professional paddler.

Paddleboarders came to test the waters of the Chattahoochee as they raced a mile down the river.

The World Paddle Association brought the sport back to Columbus after their last summer competition. Organizers said being a part of RiverFest could not have been a better reason.

"It's a fantastic town. When I did my first site visit here three years ago I was taken back by it and that's why we're here. We are going to continue this race through the years and let the local community kind of take this in and take the race on," said Byron Kurt, the President and Founder of the World Paddle Association.

They even brought a special guest all the way from Hawaii to show off the skills of a true professional, going so far as to win today's competition.

"To be world champion defending my title this year for the main tour around the world is incredible. I work really hard and it's not just something that was handed down to me. I put 100% effort into training every single day and really maximizing my effort in and out of the water and being able to travel around the world representing Maui Hawaii is in an incredible feeling," said Baxter.

The World Paddle Association says they have even bigger plans for next year and cannot wait to come back to the Hooch.

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