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New USACK Wildwater Committee Elected

New representatives to participate in annual USACK meeting in Atlanta

Michael Beavers
USAWildwater C-1

November 25, 2001 -- Atlanta, GA

In all amateur sports, fierce competition periodically takes place at the polls rather than arenas of athletic endeavor. This year's Wildwater Committee elections, however, lacked the rancor sometimes seen in other sports and almost invariably seen in city, state, and national governments.

The election, which introduced most new members to two-year terms on the USACK Wildwater Commitee, was genial, upbeat and generally reflected the candidates' genuine desire for bettering the United States Wildwater program.

Many opponents in the race also dropped out in favor of others who might have time, energies and resources to devote more their posts, which led to several positions only having one nominee.

If the tenor of this year's race bears up for the next two years of actual governance, it is very possible we will see an increase in the number of training camps and races, as well as better communications and activities in cooperation with USACK, and improved recruitment of new wildwater racers. Here is how the the core committee ended up:

Chair: David Jones
Vice-Chair: Chris Norbury
Treasurer: Chris Hipgrave
News Editor: Michael Beavers
Eastern Athlete Representative: Middy Tilghman
Western Athlete Representative: Tom Wier

The election is not over, however. One of the first orders of committee business will be to fill three committee-elected at-large posts and one team manager position, which will be completed before the New year. These posts will be elected directly by the current Committee membership.

Another task will be to represent Wildwater at the 2001 annual USACK meeting in Atlanta on December 1st. David Jones, Chris Hipgrave and Michael Beavers are already planning to attend. At-large candidates David Mason and Ben Sandiford will also be present. Details about the meeting can be found at

The committee, which officially takes office on January 1, 2002, has pledged to be an accessible body. If you would like to voice your opinion on Wildwater governance, please feel free to contact your athlete representatives.

Beavers is editor of and a C-1 Wildwater racer training in Atlanta, Georgia. Reach him at


The 1998-2001 USACK Wildwater Committee thanks the athletes, volunteers and other supporters for an exceptional term of progress for Wildwater racing in the United States.

1998-2001 Rundown:

More participation & exposure for Wildwater.
Major National-level races were intentionally held as part of larger whitewater festivals like Colorado's FIBArk, the Kern River Festival, and Nantahala Spring Splash to draw more competitors and increase exposure for the sport within the larger paddling community.

To ease travel expenses for athletes, organizers often split team trials into races held on the east and west coasts.

Training Camps.
On several occasions, ICF trainer Francois Beauchard came to the U.S. to coach development and senior athletes. Athletes like Charles Albright, Ted Newton, Chris Norbury, and Chris Hipgrave also helped by hosting training camps in their respective regions.

More Races.
Downriver racing in general has gained a higher profile, including the Outdoor Life Network's plans to air the "Animal" Upper Gauley Race this year. But the biggest boons to elite downriver sport has been the addition of the BCE's Mid-Atlantic Race Series, the Colorado High School Whitewater Cup, and pending plans to develop a Smokey Mountain Cup for the Southeastern U.S.