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2009 Chute The Hooch Wildwater Training Camp and RACE

Atlanta GA, January 17-18, 2009

Click here to view the race results

by John Pinyerd
USA Wildwater Chair

January 21,2009 -- Marietta, GA

The biggest cold front of the year just happened to blow into town the very same weekend as our Fifth Annual Chute the Hooch Training Camp. As a result Hot'lanta just was not so hot, but our training camp turned out to be really cool.

The big news is that In spite of the winter weather, only a half a dozen folks cancelled and we ended up with 30 participants. More importantly, I am thrilled to say that about half of them were juniors or first time Wildwater racers.

I am very psyched that Ward Daily brought three very able bodied up and coming racers with him all the way from upstate NY. All four made huge strides with their technique during the weekend. And by the time we got around to racing on Sunday afternoon Max Rothanski and Eric Adsit ended up going 1st and 2nd in the juniors, and Danny Kraeger placed sixth overall with a very respectable time. If this core group sticks with it and dedicates themselves to improving and pushing each other along, they have the opportunity to do something really special like what we have done over the years with Wildwater in Atlanta, DC, Seattle and Colorado.

Another up and comer to watch is Steve Kimmel, who placed first in the Speeder/Wavehopper class and is itching to start training for a national team berth. He was followed by a terrific tri-athlete Sean Giuffre, who had the joy of jumping into a race boat for the first time this weekend. Another great all around athlete that paddled with us on Saturday was adventure racer Paul Cox who continues to impress me with his progress in kayak. And I was impressed on how quickly "big water" Tim Boring picked up racing technique and how well he did in Sunday's race.

In the clash of the titans, USA Team members (and our coaches) Chris Hipgrave and JP Bevilaqua dueled it out for first place in K-1. Ultimately Chris edged out JP at the finish line and both racers were grinning from ear to ear over the gamesmanship that had occurred over their nine minute race. Flat water racer Carl Moore took third in K-1 in his very first Wildwater race and was followed closely by USA Team member Tierney O'Sullivan (K-1W).

In the canoe class (C-1), I was quite happy with my finish of 5th place overall as my percentage off of the K-1s were very competitive given the low water. Chris Osment also turned out a very respectable time in a C-1 and finished 7th overall. Kevin Miller finished 3rd in C-1 and showed significant progress over last year.

A couple of other folks that impressed me with their progress were Kelly Harbuck who took first in K-1W plastic class and Keefe Osment who placed 3rd as a K-1 Jr. I was also thrilled to see Jay Manalo jump in this weekend and make solid progress.

In the quarter century that I have been racing whitewater, I have never had the chance to attend a training camp that had coaching at this level. Our head kayak coach was Chris Hipgrave (the former director of USACK Olympic paddling and a many time National Champion and Team Member). Our other main kayak coach was JP Bevilaqua, a USA Team member and a very animated kayak instructor and personal trainer. Chris Osment is a former USA Team member in all three events (K-1, C-1 and C-2). Martin Bay is a former Team member who has also served as Jr Team Coach/Manager. And yours truly has been blessed with a quarter century of positive coaching and racing experiences which has included winning two Master's World Championships. More importantly, our group of coaches is truly dedicated to helping folks along with the sport and helping them to improve.

I'm also very grateful to folks that helped sponsor the camp like Tom O'Sullivan who was my right hand man on organizing the camp. The O'Sullivan's also very graciously provided lunch and dinner on Saturday (and home-stays). And every year Lynn Pinyerd (my wife) is a real key to making this camp work as we always open up our personal schedules and our house up to home-stays and food.

We also appreciate the support from Pyranha and Casey Jones (local Pyranha dealer) for providing the Speeders. I continue to be very impressed with the Speeder as a great entry level plastic Wildwater racing boat (and a speedy general recreation kayak).

As always, this Atlanta clinic was free of charge to participants. Several folks that attended the camp have already kicked in $100 to offset some of our $300 in expenses. Anyone who wishes to help us offset the remaining cost of this camp or help provide for other camps, or to help support coaching, development, and the USA Wildwater Team can make (tax deductible) donations to USA Wildwater. Please make all checks payable to USA Canoe/Kayak and mark the memo field "For Wildwater". You can send donations to:
 John Pinyerd
4781 Karl's Gate Drive
Marietta GA 30068
or send them directly to:
 USA Canoe/Kayak (Attention Gerald)
330 South Tryon Street, Lower Level
Charlotte, NC 28202

If you live within a days drive of Atlanta and have any ambitions towards ever racing Wildwater, plan on attending next years camp!

More links:

John Pinyerd
USA Wildwater - Chairman