Wildwater Races
This section gives details and registration information for races in your area. If you are a race organizer, please email your race information, registration forms, photos, and deadlines to usac1@earthlink.net.

Download race entry form here
Race Forms and liability waivers must be mailed to the Nantahala Racing Club. Address below:

Get Ready to Race!
Come race with us at the 2001 USACK Wildwater National Championships on the Pigeon River on Saturday August 4th, 2001. Paddle for fun or compete against current US Wildwater Team members. Everyone is welcome.

2001 Wildwater National Championship- Information For Racers:
(This may change as the need arises and at the discretion of race organizers.)

Race Format - Nationals will consist of two races - both on Saturday August 4th. The first will be the Sprint race. Competitors will do two timed runs of the Sprint course for a cumulative time. The Sprint Course will start directly below the Pigeon River powerhouse and go approximately 100 seconds downstream to a large rock that splits the river into two channels. The second race will be the classic, starting at the road bridge approximately one mile down stream of the sprint course start. The finish will be the next road bridge downstream. Its will take top competitors approximately 18 minutes and will include three class 3+/4- rapids, including the infamous "Lost Guide".

Race Schedule - A competitors meeting will be held on Saturday August 4th at 10:30 a.m. at the Nantahala Outdoor Center Rafting Outpost at TN I-40 exit # 447 (Hartford). A complete and finalized event schedule will be made available at the competitors meeting.
Tentative schedule is as follows:
10:30 Competitors Meeting, NOC Outpost
1:30 First Sprint Runs begin
2:30 Second Sprint Runs begin
5:00 Classic race begins
7:30 Awards ceremony at the NOC Outpost

Classes - The classes will be men's kayak (K-1), women's kayak (K-1W), men's C-1 and men's C-2. Juniors will have the same classes. Plastic boats will have a K-1 and K1-W class.

National Champion Selection Criteria - All paddlers are encouraged to race. All athletes competing at the National Championships (juniors and seniors) must be current members of USA Canoe & Kayak (USACK), Wildwater's National Governing Body (NGB). A competitor must compete in and finish both races to be named National Champion. The calculation of the winner of the National Championships, will be via a point system that combines the results from the classic and sprint races. Times or percentages are not averaged. Percentages will be converted to points, and points will be combined from the two races to determine the national champions. Questions concerning this methodology should be addressed to the race organizers at the racers meeting on Saturday August 4th at 1030hrs.

Safety - The Pigeon is primarily a Class Three river, with three Class Three-plus or Four-minus rapids. Race organizers will do thier best to provide race safety at key rapids. However, if you are not comfortable with self-rescue, please reconsider your participation.

Boat & Gear Inspection - Boats may be inspected before, during or after the race at the discretion of the race organizers to determine if ICF specifications are met. Be sure your boat qualifies before you start! Boat specs and rules can be reviewed at the ICF Wildwater site. If you are competing in an ICF spec wildwater boat, the new airbags rules WILL BE ENFORCED. You are required to have inflated airbags bow and stern. Current Wildwater Team Members are expected to set the example and come to race with airbags. See the ICF Wildwater web site for complete details. Also, race organizers reserve the right to monitor for unsafe PFDs and helmets.

Water Releases & Practice - The Pigeons flow is controlled by a dam. Race starts may have to be adjusted to meet the release schedule. The Pigeon releases for recreational use every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday from May through to September, from 12 noon to 6pm. Other days and hours are provided at the discretion of Carolina Power & Light. For confirmation of releases, contact CP&L's automated release schedule at 800-899-4435. The Pigeon is an easy river to learn after only a few runs.

Rafts - While race organizers will work with area companies, raft and private boater traffic on the Pigeon is unavoidable. We have chosen start times to minimize traffic flow problems, however, some problems may happen. Be courteous and paddle around them. The Pigeon is a wide river and overtaking is easy.

Shuttles - Walking the shuttle for the sprint race takes only a few minutes. Work with other paddlers on shuttle logistics to leave as many cars as possible at the NOC Outpost. Do not park at the other privately owned rafting take-outs or you may be towed.

Accommodation & Other Area Activities - The Pigeon River is located on the NC/TN state line directly on Interstate I-40 on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There is camping inside the park at "Big Creek", just a few minutes from the start. There are many hotels and restaurants located 15 miles west on I-40 at Newport. Facilities are much further away going east into NC. The Pigeon is only 1.5 hrs from the Nantahala and about 2.25 hours from the Ocoee, so there is plenty of paddling to be done if you arrive in the area early.

Getting to the Pigeon - The Put-In is located at TN I-40 exit # 451 (Waterville) and the Take-out is located one exit west at TN I-40 exit # 447 (Hartford). Drive carefully within the Pigeon River gorge on I-40. Police patrol this section of I-40 around the clock and in force. The closest airports are Knoxville (70 miles) and Asheville (45 miles). The closest major airport hub is Atlanta (4 hours). Contact the race organizers if you need a pickup at the airport.

Registration - Every competitor needs to complete a registration form AND complete a USACK waiver. Entry fees are only $15 if you are a USACK member (OR pay an additional $5 for event insurance). All proceeds generated during the operation of the 2001 Wildwater National Championships will be used to cover operational costs (such as prizes) and further develop Wildwater racing in the USA (such as coaching and training camps). Registration forms and USACK waivers are available from www.nrcrhinos.com. Completed forms should be sent to the address below. They will also be available at the competitors meeting:

Nantahala Racing Club
2001 Wildwater National Championships
P.O.Box 134
Almond, NC 28702

Volunteers - Got a friend or family member who is coming with you? Race organizers would be grateful for any volunteers who can help out on race day. Contact race organizers to volunteer.

Chris Hipgrave
828-488-1377 DaggerRep@compuserve.com
Nantahala Racing Club
828-488-2176 extn. 108 rhino@main.nc.us


   Copyright 2002 USAWildwater.com