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Chris Hipgrave Joins USA Canoe/Kayak as High Performance Director

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

April 18, 2005 -- Charlotte, NC

After many years of paddling, volunteering, and organizing races for USA Canoe/Kayak, Chris Hipgrave has joined the USACK staff in Charlotte, NC as its High Performance Director. Hipgrave has long been a Wildwater athlete having competed on numerous national teams and having raced in World Championships and World Cups across the globe. He has paddled for the Nantahala Racing Club for many years.

The High Performance Director (HPD) is a newly created position that works specifically with the two Olympic sports of Sprint and Slalom. As HPD, Hipgrave’s main emphasis is executing the High Performance Plans that are developed by USACK in collaboration with the US Olympic Committee. The HPD administers USACK policies and procedures, including the anti-doping programs, and is responsible for budgeting and control in the Olympic programs. Hipgrave will work directly with USACK coaches and will support the work of the Sprint and Slalom Committees.

The HPD position replaced the National Teams Director position that was vacated when Brian Parsons left USACK after many years of service to relocate back to the Washington, D.C. area with his wife.

“I am genuinely excited to be working for USACK as HPD,” says Hipgrave. “Canoeing and kayaking has given me so much over the years and I’m looking forward to giving back to that system. It’s my hope that we can build on the foundation that Brian built and move our Olympic disciplines towards new levels of international achievement.”

”Chris brings a wealth of personal experience and a contagious enthusiasm to this critically important job,” said USACK Executive Director David Yarborough. “We are very appreciative of the fine work done by Brian Parsons in this role over the past few years and look forward to the continued success of our two Olympic programs between now and the Beijing Games in 2008.”

USA Canoe/Kayak is headquartered in Charlotte, NC, and is the National Governing Body for nine canoe and kayak racing sports, and is a member of the US Olympic Committee and the International Canoe Federation. For more information, please contact Luke Dieker at (704) 348-4330, or visit the USACK website at