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U.S. Wildwater Team Selections Less Than One Week Away

Racers From Across Nation Descend Upon Pennsylvania's Youghiogheny River to Qualify for World Championships, World Cup

by Michael Beavers
USA Wildwater C-1

Click here to view Jess Whittemore's official U.S. Team Trials Website.

April 14, 2002 -- Ohiopyle, PA

The Nation's Wildwater racers are chomping at the bit with the first U.S Major open race of the season within sight. The self-discipline of many who train alone is about to be tested in the qualifying race to determine who will wear the U.S. Team uniform at the upcoming World Championships on the Sesia River near Varallo, Italy, and the World Cup held in Slovenia, Austria and the Czech Republic.

Because of increased compliance requirements from the International Canoe Federation regarding equipment, the new airbag and helmet rules will be strictly enforced, along with the usual checks on boat dimensions and weight and PFD bouancy. Racers should be prepared to show airbags to Chris Norbury, who will be conducting these checks.

Download Helmet and Airbag Rules ICF requirements
complied by Chris Osment

Two important updates for racers include a split selection race for the U.S. Junior Team and the inclusion of a Masters-level race to be held at the Junior World Championships site at Bala, Wales. The Yough races will be used to select the Senior Team and Eastern Juniors only. Western Junior Team Trials will be held in Colorado. Contact Scott Overdorf at if you are a Junior training west of the Mississippi for details on making the U.S. Junior Team. In an effort to encourage more chaperones to travel with the Junior team, Great Britain's John Handyside is organizing a masters Wildwater race at Bala. For more information on this 35-and-up aged category, please contact Ben Sandiford at

A competitors meeting will be held on Saturday April 20th at 10:30 a.m. at the Falls City Pub on Garrett St. right across the tracks from the loop takeout parking lot entrance. A complete and finalized event schedule will be made available at that time. For entry and liability forms, plus information on lodgings, locations and U.S. Team selection criteria for 2002, please visit Jess Whittemore's official site at:

Tentative schedule:

Friday 19th:
1700 hrs. Boat and PFD. Inspection, Falls City Pub. All racers must appear with all equipment at boat control in order to race.

Saturday 20th:
1030 hrs. Competitors meeting, Falls City Pub
1430 hrs. Classic runs begin Sunday 21st:
9000 hrs. Sprint runs begin
1300 hrs. Awards ceremony and Team member announcement at the Falls City Pub
1530 hrs. Team race begins

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