August 25-26, 2007 -- Charlemont, MA
With little practice time and a course with plenty of challenging whitewater, the 2007 US National Championships were the most
exciting wildwater race of the year. The Dryway section of the Deerfield River had several class IV rapids and was almost continuous
whitewater from start to finish. With a water release for only 4 hours on Friday, August 24th, every racer scrambled to run the
course as many times as possible before the dam shut off the spigot. Racers had only three or four runs to learn all of the rapids.
The sprint race started on Saturday morning, and was held on the last three rapids on the Dryway, False Tooth, Dragonís Tooth, and
Labyrinth. Geoff Calhoun won senior K-1 by almost 9% after putting in two runs under 2:20. Only two other racers managed to paddle
the course in less than 2:30. In womenís K-1, Stefanie Vallee of Canada was first, with Chara Whitemore second and Jennie Goldberg
third. Junior Tierney OíSullivan showed how much she has improved since Team Trials, finishing only 5 seconds behind Stefanie
Vallee and becoming the top U.S. finisher by 12 seconds. In C-1, John Pinyerd won over Jamie McEwan and Tom Wier, finishing just 2
seconds ahead of McEwan. Wier was seven seconds back at the end of the day, marking the first race in the US since 2001 that he had
not won. K-1 Masters was won by Neil Gerrard of Canada, with David Jones of Atlanta close behind.
The classic on Sunday was a short course, with most times between 9 and 12 minutes. The K-1 Menís category was again won by Geoff
Calhoun in a blistering 9:16.03. Only one other racer, Joe Stumpfel, cracked 10 minutes. Tierney OíSullivan was the top finisher
in womenís K-1, at 10:46.5, and is now the US Champion at only 16 years of age. Tom Wier won C-1 by 58 seconds, pulling him from
3rd to first overall, and giving him his fifth national title since 2000. Neil Gerrard again won masters K-1, and David Jones was
the top US finisher only 9 seconds behind. Wier and Pinyerd jumped into a C-2 together for the first time and finished in a time
Zoar Outdoor put on a great event, complete with a barbeque and some of the best prizes at a wildwater race in years. We extend
our thanks to race director Karen Blom and the other volunteers from Zoar for their hard work. The Dryway is a great course,
and we hope to race there again in the near future.
Click here to view the results
Links to photos: