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Boaters prepare for the Great Raft Race

Posted at 10:39 PM, Sep 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-04 23:50:07-04
This Labor Day roughly 200 homemade rafts, kayaks and canoe's are floating down the Arkansas River for the annual great raft race. 
 
"It may be one of the most annoying boats because we have some pretty legit water balloon launchers here," said On The Cusp Raft Captain Ryan Roberts.
 
"If we win that'd be great, but we're just looking to have a good time," said Yale Cleaners Raft Captain Jim Rothrock. 
 
This is Jim Rothrock and his three brothers second year to take their Yale Cleaners raft on the 8 mile float. 
 
 "We decided that we would add a secret weapon that we're not exactly telling everybody about, but we not only intend to clean the clothes, but we intend to clean the competition," said Rothrock
 
He said he and his brothers spent 120 man hours on their float and this year they plan on getting down the river faster.
 
"We've put a fire pump off a brush rig on here and we can pump 80 gallons of water a minute at a 100 pounds, and we intend to clean them all up," said Rothrock. 
 
However, some people are choosing their own strength as power. 
 
"We are just paddling, paddle with power," said Roberts. 
 
Event coordinators said the only  new rule this year is rafts can't be bigger than 12 feet by 16 feet. 
 
"Not everyone will probably make it down the river but we would like to at least check it off to say that it's at least somewhat sea worthy," said Great Raft Race Director Seth Erkenbeck.
 
Rothrock said his crew has a secret weapon this year, and says other boaters should be aware. 
 
"If you're a pirate, we're gonna be pirate hunting. And we think we can rid the Arkansas River of all the nasty pirates." said Rothrock.

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200 vessels floating in Geat aft Race