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Mid-Atlantic Downriver Series

NB of the Potomac

by Chris Norbury
USA Wildwater K-1

May 15, 2009 -- Bloomington, MD

This past weekend a small group of us gathered to race on the North Branch of the Potomac, an idyllic setting on the Maryland/West Virginia border where a guaranteed release at 1000 cfs allows comparison of whitewater times (as opposed to a flat water time trial) since time in memorial (or at least since 2006). Results are attached in a pdf file.

Andrew McEwan won the Classic, as expected, but shows signs of his grey hair catching up with him as his time was 14 seconds down on his time in 2006. Peter Lutter was almost 2 minutes faster than his 2006 time, but was only 7 seconds faster than June 2008 although this was still good enough for second, only six seconds behind the grey haired one. Peter's biggest improvement was in the sprint, where he was 8 seconds faster after struggling to beat Chris "The Horny Turtle" Norbury last year. This year it was McEwan, along with MADS series leader (can someone PLEASE fix this) Middy Tilghman who struggled to beat the fat one, squeezing out only a second over the cumulative 2 runs in the sprint. Other honorable mentions go to Kurt "Napoleon" Smithgall who was defeated for the first time in a couple of months after impressive wins in the Red Moshannon and Stony Creek races but who learned that keeping the boat facing down the current is surely a lot faster than keeping it facing across the current.

Chara Whittemore appears to be recovering from a killer work schedule as she took the women's class from Mackenzie "Spood" Hatcher who always looks like she wants to kill someone when she is paddling - that's intensity for you! In fact, she always looks like that around me, I wonder why? Sierra O'Brien, along with the Spood, posted significantly faster times than last year, indicating their progress towards wearing Stars and Stripes bikinis at the Junior World Championships this year. Hollie "One Ring to Bind Them" Noble was out in her composite wildwater boat (Clipper Easy, Clipper Slow) for the first time in almost forever, mainly because her traveling companions would not let her bring her wavehopper, but after a sketchy first run she seemed to get back into it, and we look forward to Hollie getting back to her 2006 level. Overall we had a great time, with much merriment (and some whining from the girls, of course). Please join us on May 23rd for 2 of the last 4 races in the series on the Lower Yough - contact Chara Whittemore ( for details.

Click here for the results