NORTH CREEK The vehicles parked along Route 28 in North River, and Route 8 in Riparius said it all this weekend. With license plates from as far away as California, and roof-racks as far as the eye could see the 51st Annual Hudson River WhiteWater Derby marked another successful year. Despite occasional rain showers and low temperatures, racers and spectators braved the elements to enjoy an annual event that has turned into what many consider a family tradition. Weve been coming to the Derby every year since 1997, said John Waleson of Buffalo. First it was just my wife and I, then our parents, and now everybody in our family comes with us. We love it its a lot of fun to watch the races. While this years attendance and participation was below expectations when compared to last year, the fans didnt seem to notice as they cheered each racer across the finish line. On Sunday, spectators were able to travel alongside the racers courtesy of the Upper Hudson River Railroad. This unique perspective on the race summed up what many felt to be a wonderful weekend. This is our first year and we really had no idea what to expect, said Queensbury resident Donna Saltzman, as she stood alongside the tracks. With the band and the roadside vendors, its like a little festival. Well definitely be back next year.