Missoula Story of the Week: Restoring Brennan’s Wave

By TOM DIDDEL

One of Missoula’s favorite tourist attractions and best downtown spots for outdoor and water-sports enthusiasts is in need of several thousand dollars in order to make necessary repairs.

Missoula’s Brennan’s Wave, a man-made aquatic structure for boaters and other river adventurers, is in need of some quick cash in order to make necessary repairs to the structure.

According to a KPAX.com news story, a high run-off is believed to have eroded the riverbed. The erosion caused a large boulder placed as part of the man-made wave to come loose.

Brennan’s Wave is a man-made engineered structure placed in the Clark Fork River just downstream of the Higgins Street Bridge in 2006. The river feature was made as a memorial for Brennan Guth, a local world-class kayaker who died in a boating accident on the Rio Palguin near Pucon, Chile, on March 15, 2001.

Crowds gather at Brennan’s Wave in Caras Park for the 2012 Montana WhitewaterChampionships.

The memorial has become a fixture in Missoula’s downtown community, attracting kayakers and river enthusiasts. The structure has played host to numerous competitions, the biggest being the 2010 US Freestyle Kayaking National Championships.

The benefits of having such an incredible river attraction in the heart of downtown Missoula are numerous. People from across the country and the world come to enjoy the easy access to great kayaking while tourists and residents alike are treated to up close whitewater action.Missoula is fortunate to have such an amazing landmark. However, without the support of Missoulians and whitewater recreationalists, Brennan’s Wave and the people it brings to the shores of the Clark Fork could wash away.

Donations can be made online through Razoo, or they can be mailed to: c/o Trent Baker, 201 W. Main, Ste. 201, Missoula, MT 59802. Donations are also being accepted at any First Interstate Bank location. Big Sky Brewing is donating 1$ for every case of its beer sold in Missoula County starting during the month of February.

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Each week, Tom Diddel recaps the week’s most talked-about story in Missoula. Visit the Make it Missoula News & Opinion section for more talk of the town.

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Tom Diddel has lived in Missoula on and off for nearly thirty-eight years. He enjoys skiing, hiking, and many other outdoor activities. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Montana and is currently working as a Freelance Writer and a Para-Educator.