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41st Annual Southeastern Wildwater Championships

Results from Chris Hipgrave, Observations by Bern Collins


by Chris Hipgrave
USA Wildwater
Committee Vice Chair
hipgrave.chris@gmail.com

September 28,2009 -- Bryson City, NC

Here are the results of the 41st annual Southeastern Downriver Championship race that took place yesterday on the Nantahala River, in Wesser, North Carolina.

CHRIS HIPGRAVEK1 WILDWATER43.43
JP BEVILAQUAK1 WILDWATER44.06
ROB MURPHYK1 WILDWATER46.04
DAVID JONESK1 WILDWATER46.35
TIERNEY OSULLIVANK1-W WILDWATER48.03
BERN COLLINSK1 WILDWATER49.58
CHUCK MCHENRYK1 WILDWATER50.22
HAILEY POPPK1-W JUNIOR WILDWATER52.34
COX/MCADAMSOC-255.21
BRYSON POPPK1 JUNIOR WILDWATER55.53
SELENA POPPK1-W JUNIOR WILDWATER56.20
JAY MANALOK1 CRUISING60.16
ROGER NOTTOC-162.42

Observations by Bern Collins:

The race was an exciting event with some of the highest water in years, and fast times by seniors, juniors, and masters in all categories.

Senior K-1's:
Chris Hipgrave was 2 3/4 minutes faster than last year and about a minute faster than in 2006. J.P. Bevilaqua was 3 3/4 minutes faster than 2008. Rob Murphy posted a time 43 seconds faster than in 2005. Although he swam in the falls, David Jones' time was about 2 minutes faster than 2006 and his time in 1974 when he ruled.

K-1W Tierney O'Sullivan showed huge improvement with a 5 1/4 minutes faster time than 2008.

In the Masters K-1's:
Chuck McHenry bested his 2007 time by roughly 7 minutes. While Bern Collins, recovering from rotator cuff surgery bested his 2008 time by 1 1/4 minutes and came within 15 seconds of his goal of beating his 1974 time. (Take heart competitors, rotator cuff surgery is not necessarily the end of wildwater racing.)

Speaking of old timers and upcoming juniors:
Two of the Popp family beat their dad, Tom Popp's, time in l974 when he was a junior with a K-l time of 56:06.

In the Junior K-1 W class: Hailey Popp's time was 4 1/2 minutes faster than dad and Selena Popp's time was only 14 seconds off his time.

In the Junior K-1 class: Bryson Popp was 13 seconds faster than dad.

In the K-l cruising category, Jay Manalo made an improvement of more than 7 minutes over his 2008 race time.

In OC-1, stalwart Roger Nott improved his time over 2008 by more than 5 minutes and over 2007 by more than 6 minutes.

In OC-2, newcomers Cox and McAdams posted an impressive under-an-hour time of 55.21 and entertained spectators with an eye-popping "boof" of the overwashed rock (normally dry) on the right side of the Nantahala Falls.

A great time was had by all during the race and NOC's Guest Appreciation Fesval and the sunshine after Saturday's downpours was very, very welcome.

Link to photos from Jay Manalo: http://flickr.com/gp/8288886@N03/09R6EZ

   

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