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Lower Yough Training Camp Report

18 Paddlers and Coaches Participated

by Middy Tilghman

March 19, 2007 -- Ohiopyle, PA

A great turnout of paddlers and coaches combined with high water and reasonable weather made for a great training camp at the Lower Yough March 10th and 11th. There were some hardcore beginners, most notably Matt Pascal and Jamie Rosenberger, who jumped into wildwater boats despite their tippiness and the cold. The intermediate paddlers consisted of a very solid group from all over the Mid-Atlantic, and there was an advanced group of fast, experienced wildwater paddlers to round out the bunch. The purpose of the camp was to work on wildwater basics with video and on small whitewater. In that regard it was a success, but the marker of any camp worth its salt is the quality of the performance art and for this we owe great gratitude to Chris Norbury and his supple assistant Geoff Calhoun.

The training camp began bright and early Saturday March 10th with 16 boats putting on the Lower Yough. Nearly half of these boats were firecracker red wavehoppers recently imported by Joe Stumpfeld. Despite Joe’s absence from the camp his contribution was clear as a fleet of wavehoppers congregated at the put-in. The group divided into an advance group and an intermediate and beginner group. The advance group did two full- length runs of the Lower Yough stopping to dissect the race lines of the team trials course. Meanwhile, the intermediate/beginner group stayed at the put-in and worked on being comfortable in their boats and their forward stroke technique. There was a huge amount of video shot from the shore. The most useful video came from paddling three abreast. When viewed, this allowed for a better comparison and self-awareness for each paddler as they could immediately see themselves next to other paddlers. This also meant we did not have to pick our way through the two hundred individual video segments shot by coaches from the shore. The two groups reconvened at the Fall’s City Restaurant and Pub for lunch, video review, and Andrew McEwan talking about the essence of speed. The afternoon paddle involved repeated runs of a small rapid on the Middle Yough to work on getting speed out of rapids. Under a light rain and fog, paddlers tried to relax in the whitewater while taking strong guiding strokes and accelerating out of the rapids.

Sunday morning greeted the training camp with high water and a herd culled by fatigue, high water, and other obligations. The camp relocated to the Casselman River for morning runs and a long afternoon time trial. The morning involved advance, intermediate, and beginner paddlers stopping to dissect rapids from a wildwater perspective and find the fast lines through each rapid. After lunch and a stirring lecture on training the last month before team trials, most people resigned themselves to a nap. The few remaining hardcore paddlers did an afternoon time trial on the Casselman and headed home.

Much thanks to all those who participated in the training camp and we hope to see you all around. Special thanks to Rachel Crowder and Joe Stumpfeld for their wavehopper generosity, Eric Martin and the crew at Falls City, and Rob Rosenberger for driving shuttle.

Results Sunday March 11 Casselman River(as best they can be remembered)
Andrew McEwan 33:34
Middy Tilghman 34:11
Geoff Calhoun 34:40
Peter Lutter 36:40
Callum Lewandrowski 37:30
Participants:  Coaches:
Hollie Noble  Andrew McEwan
Chara Whittemore  Geoff Calhoun
Christine Zeltner  Chris Norbury
Erin DiMorgantown  Middy Tilghman
Callum Lewandrowski
Peter Lutter
Jamie Rosenberger
Rodney Rice
Ben Ledewitz
Nathan Hamm
Jeremy Dicasolo
Matt Pascal
Colby Zebel
Mike Warren