Iceman Challenge and Millrace Massacre, Saluda River, South Carolina

For the past 4 years I have attended the Iceman Challenge and Millrace Massacre one of the first Saturdays of the year. Every year it gets bigger and bigger as more people are hearing of these races.

Andy Grizzell himself explains the history,” In the Fall of 1999 two local paddlers from Columbia, SC wanted to create event that would bring together fellow paddlers in the lull of winter time. The event they wanted to fun, challenging, and doable for all skill levels of paddlers. After much discussion and brain storming, it was decided that we would have two races.

The first race would be the Millrace Massacre. This would be more of the traditional style race. Paddlers would race through Millrace Rapids catching eddies or passing by certain check points. Missing an eddy or checkpoint would result in a time penalty. All the racers are required to use a boat that is under 8′6 in length. The fastest racer down the course without any penalties wins the cash purse

Andy Gates going in to square eddy

The second race that they created was coined the Iceman Championships. This race was designed with pain in mind. The Iceman is a mass start race. The starting line is approximately 1/4 mile above Millrace. Racers would then paddle downstream through the rapids. Once the racer has made it to the zoo bridge, they would then circle the bridge and then head back upstream to the sandy beach. At the sandy beach racers would exit their boat and run/walk/crawl back up the trail to the top of Millrace. They would then climb back in for one more run through Millrace. Once they have reached the Pop-up hole vicinity they are required to exit their boats and swim back to the beach. First one to swim to the beach is the winner. Racers are allowed to use any form of paddle powered boats.


Joey Hall Going in to square eddy.

In recent years we have added a top 10 head to head race. This race takes the top 10 finishers from the Millrace Massacre and lines them up for a mass start race through Millrace with check points to go by. This race has evolved from a top 10 kayak race to a top 10 tube race. Always a crowd pleaser.”


The first song in the video is “Mr. Nathan” on the CD Leave Your Name by the Statistics. For more songs by them visit


The second song in the video is “Kings in the Backrow” on the Self Titled CD by Dark Before Dawn. For more songs go to

dark Before Dawn cd relase

The show is on the 28th of March in 15 International Court, Maulden, SC. At Ximenos Skate Park at 7pm.

The cost is 8 dollars.

Until next time,


Andy Gates

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