March 31,2009 -- Bryson City, NC
The 2009 US Open wildwater race on the Nantahala River is an annual event run in combination with a slalom further downstream.
The wildwater event follows a European model of a short powerful sprint and a sub 15 minute classic. This year had the added dimension of being the 2009 east coast wildwater Junior Team Trials. As a result, racers participated from a far as Wisconsin and New York with a large contingent from the mid-Atlantic region.
Saturday afternoons sprint was up at Pattons Run. The short sprint starts with a long straight away thru shallow fast flowing water before making a sharp right turn into the rapid where the racer has to negotiate a series of waves and rocks while opting for several run out options. The first runs went well with solid performances all round. Unfortunately a fault at the hydro plant upstream resulted in the water being inadvertently shut off just before second runs could start. Several of the early starters found themselves sitting on the river bottom very quickly.
The Sunday morning classic was held on the most entertaining 10 minutes of the Nanatahala. Being so short, there is little room for pacing. The strongest did the best. Once again, strong performances from all classes.
At the end of the day the following Juniors were nominated to the 2009 Junior Team. The remaining slots will be selected at the western trials later in the year.
Jr - K1
Alternate - Adsit, Eric
Jr - K1W
Alternate - Popp, Haley
No Junior C1 or C2's participated.
Many thanks to all the volunteers and participants that made this event such a success.
Click here for the complete results
Click here for photos (Thanks to John Thompson)