January 24, 2006
-- Atlanta, GA
In the quarter century that I have been racing whitewater, I have never had the chance to attend a
training camp that was this informative and educational. Chris Hipgrave (who is the USA Olympic
paddle-sport “Director of High Performance”) continues to amaze me with his knowledge of Wildwater
kayaking and animated skills as a kayak instructor.
I’m also very grateful to folks that helped sponsor the camp like Lynn Pinyerd (food, facilities,
and home-stays) and the O’Sullivan's (dinner and home-stays). We also appreciate the many shuttle
runs and help from parents and by-standers.
The mild Atlanta winter weather and some great training areas for flat-water and easy whitewater
give us an excellent venue to work. Our turnout was solid and it is always exciting to see two-dozen
Wildwater boats pour into the parking lot of the metro Atlanta Chattahoochee. If you live within a
day’s drive of Atlanta, have any ambitions towards ever racing Wildwater, and did not attend, shame
Saturday focused on technique, aerobic development, speed work and video analysis. The two DVD’s
that that we discussed at the training camp (in order to help perfect your forward stroke) are:
- The Brent Reitz Forward Stroke Clinic,
www.wildsprint.com, or contact
firstname.lastname@example.org (This is the best basic explanation of the K-1
forward stroke that I have ever reviewed).
- The Kayak Forward Stroke,
www.epickayaks.com (this is a very educational and advanced view of the K-1 forward
stroke by paddling greats Greg Barton and Oscar Chalupsky).
Sunday focused more on turning, sprinting and whitewater skills. The afternoon session was an
actual wildwater race, which had some real competition. The Atlanta crowd, armed with the hometown
knowledge of their local river was formidable competition. In men’s kayak, Rob Murphy turned out a
blistering time and we all waited anxiously to see veteran ace racer/coach Chris Hipgrave finish
second by a scant few second. Bailey O’Sullivan who has been training hard since the Junior Worlds
was the top K-1W. Emily Stein finished a couple seconds behind her and was the top K-1 Jr.
But the most exciting aspect of the training camp and race to me was to see the incredible
improvement that is going on. Chan Jones (age 16) is nipping at the heels of our best K-1’s and
may overtake them by Team Trials. Casey Jones (age 14, aka “the man child”) is not that far behind.
Masters racers like Bern Collins and myself continue to get faster. Please review the results and
the comparisons to 2004.
As always, this mini clinic was free of charge except we do require a USACK Membership for all
training clinics. To help us offset the cost, and to help support coaching, development, and
Wildwater Team members, we would also like to request (tax deductible) donations to USA Wildwater.
Please make all check payable to USA Canoe/Kayak and mark the memo field “For Wildwater”. You can send
- John Pinyerd, 4781 Karl’s Gate Drive, Marietta GA 30068
- Chris Hipgrave, USA Canoe/Kayak, 301 S. Tryon St., Suite 1750, Charlotte, NC 28282
Thank you for supporting USA Wildwater!!!
Chairman - USA Wildwater