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2004 Wildwater Team Trials - The Selection Process

Prepare to become One with The "Team"!

by Chris Hipgrave
USAWildwater K-1
Treasurer, US Wildwater Committee

February 19, 2004 -- Bryson City, NC

Howdy Race Fans. Want to know what it takes to be a US Wildwater Team Member in 2004? Well, first, let's get a little background info:

The 2004 Wildwater Senior Team Trials and East Coast Junior Team Trials, are being held April 17-18, 2004 on the Top Gauley River or Cherry River near Richwood, West Virginia. We will be selecting senior and partial junior teams in K1, K1W, C1 and C2.

The exact course will be announced shortly before the race and will be selected based on water levels. You will be able to download entry forms, schedules and information from and from as the information becomes available.

Now for the details:

  • You must be a current member of USACK to race. To renew or become a member, go to

  • We will be selecting the four fastest paddlers in each senior category to represent the USA at the Wildwater World Championships in Germany.

  • We will be selecting the six fastest paddlers in each senior category to represent the USA at the Wildwater World Cups in Slovenia, Czech Republic and Switzerland.

  • We will be selecting the two fastest in each class to represent the USA at the Wildwater Junior Pre-World Championships in Italy.

  • If a team spot is declined by a faster racer, the team spot will be offered to the next fastest paddler and so on and so on until all the available team positions are filled.

  • The remaining two team positions per class will be selected at the West Coast Junior Team Trials later in the summer.

  • Juniors who do not make the team in the east can participate at west coast trials and try again.

  • Anyone can race in any kind of boat.

  • You must be a US Citizen or meet USACK regulations regarding team status.

  • To be considered for a team position, you must race in an ICF legal wildwater boat, Wavehopper or Fastwave. ICF boat regulations can be downloaded from

  • Boats must meet ICF maximums for length, minimums for width and meet a minimum weight when the airbags are installed. There will be a boat inspection at Team Trials. ICF boat regulations can be downloaded from

  • You must wear an ICF approved PFD. Coast Guard approval is also accepted. - Your PFD will be checked at Team Trials.

  • You must wear a helmet that the organizers consider "safe". Your helmet will be scrutinized at Team Trials.

  • Your boat must have airbags bow and stern and of sufficient volume to be considered legal. Check out the ICF Wildwater rules at

  • Team trials will consist of two classic races. There will be no sprint. The fastest senior in each category on day number one is automatically selected to the team, but that person must finish day two regardless of position.

  • The remaining senior team positions will be decided by converting your finish time from both days into a percentage of the winners time for both days and then adding them together.

  • Therefore seniors must complete both days of racing to be selected to the team.

  • The junior positions will be decided based on the order of finish on day one. Juniors are not required to race on day two.

It is your responsibility to become familiar with the ICF and USACK Wildwater Committee rules regarding race conduct, safety and minimum requirements. For details go to for the International Canoe Federation. For USA Canoe & Kayak go to and for the USACK Wildwater Committee go to

Chris Hipgrave is Tresurer of the U.S. Wildwater Committee and a K-1 Wildwater racer living near Bryson City, NC.