2010 ACA WWOCD National Championship

Nate Lord (ACA Rocky Mountain Division) and the Dawson School Canoe and Kayak Team would like to invite all downriver and wildwater racers from around the country to the ACA WWOCD National Championship and a Western Wildwater Series race on the Arkansas River from July 25 through July 30, 2010.

Brochures & Documentation:

Course Description:

The Downriver Classic will be held from Vallie Bridge Campground put-in to Trading Post Day Use Area take-out.  This will be through Rock Garden (Class II), Cottonwood (Class III+), and Little Cottonwood Class (III-) rapids and will be some 5.75 miles.  The sprints will be from the private Bighorn Park put-in to the Trading Post take-out including Cottonwood (Class III+) and Little Cottonwood Class (III-) rapids.  The youth class race course will be decided according to the river levels at the time of competition.

Included is the description of the previous WWOCD courses from 1999 and 2004 for comparison purposes.  It will be noted that all river access will be from public put-ins and take-outs or from private put-ins and take-outs.  These locations are easily accessed from public highways, and river access will not require any portaging or carrying of boats up and down steep banks. In season, these links provide flow data in CFS as well as a description of the major rapids.

Description of Rapids:

From Salida to the Trading Post takeout:

Silver Heels Class II

The current pushes you towards a very large rock on the river right, pull around it on the left into a popular fishing eddy, then down a chute into Bear Creek Rapid.

Bear Creek Class III

This is a long rocky rapid, first one of note after leaving Salida. It is near highway 50 mile marker 225. You enter the rapid near the overpass where Bear Creek enters, on river right. Move amongst various medium sized rocks, or holes depending on level, down to the left. At the end of a short wave train is a descent size hole – its exact location varies with flow. Then the river curves immediately right demanding a move left around a large rock on the right and then a possible move back right around a rocky bar on river left, again dependent on flow.

County Line Rapid Class II+

.5 miles below Bear Creek, you enter on a left curve. Two places where wave trains push you into a left hand wall or river center hole, there is adequate room at most flows to avoid both on the right.

Spider Rapid Class II+

The river curves left then back right. Avoid various holes during the left hand turn, then stay in the main channel as you funnel down a wave train on the right curve. Just past highway mile 228.

Gunbarrel Class III-

Just before highway mile 230 you make a left hand curve and pass a couple of fine play spots, and the river tries to push you into a wall on the left and into a hole. Shortly after this the river gets rocky again for about 1/4 mile around a river right curve. About here the river enters an area of red-bed sediments that washed off the ancestral rockies and make for fun boating.

Rincon Squirt Spot Class III-

A red-bed bar comes in at an angle from the river left creating one of the best squirt spots on the entire river.

Rincon Seam Class II+

Just above the takeout, where the currents converge just below the multiple islands is a legendary seam where the Rincon Rendezvous happens seasonally. Mystery move heaven.

Take out/ Put in: Rincon

Badger Creek Class II+

Less than a 1/2 mile past Rincon. A mild class II rapid at most water levels, the only things to watch out for are the big hole mid-right created by a big rock- when water pours over, it just drops off the back side and gets bigger as the water does- and when Badger Creek flashes, it usually brings alot of Mud/Rock with it that can change the rapid a bit, or a bunch (12000 CFS poured down this trickle of a creek in 1940’s!)… and there is a huge strainer bottom right most years.

Tin Cup Class III-

About 4-5 Miles of flat water past Badger Creek…Very often this rapid is just a big wave train, from left bank to mid river. As the water gets above 2000 CFS, the pourover on the right creates a good drop and a huge hole. Most of the water runs into a rock wall river left as the river makes a sharp right then jogs back to the left… a nice beach cove is just below the waves on the right.

Rock Gardens Class II

About 5 more miles of flat and a couple small class II waves after Tincup, about 1 mile past Valley Bridge putin/takeout, and as you start to come into Coaldale… at low water it has a bunch of Rocks at the top left, and on the right, creating a bit of a slalom course thru rocks… at high water these rocks make some fun holes…

Bighorn Park Private put in/Take out

Cottonwood Class III

about 1 1/2 miles after the rock garden as you leave Coaldale and enter Bighornsheep Canyon… this is always a fun rapid, as the river squeezes into the canyon, it starts with a large rock in the middle, followed by a fast wave train that leads into a rock or hole at mid-bottom… As the water rises, the rock at the top will disappear and the wave train and hole at the bottom just get bigger/faster.

Black Hole (Little Cottonwood) Class III-

less than 1/4 mile after Cottonwood and thru an easy boulder garden the river starts to turn back to the left… the bend squeezes the river left and into a big Black Rock which is the Hole… water pours over this rock around 1200 CFS, and the Hole gets bigger as the water does… around 4500 CFS it starts to wash out… followed by some easy Class II waves and Boulder dodging- some of these boulders make for fun surfs depending on the water level.

Trading Post Take out

Anticipated Water Flows:

The flows anticipated for these events are around 700 cfs given the standard agricultural flow agreements and typical water availability.  This could be higher or lower depending on actual weather, snowpack, etc.  The last WWOCD took place with 1,200 – 1,000 cfs.  We hope to conduct the WWOCD National Championships at a level that is conducive to attracting a wide range of participants and encouraging a relatively large turnout.  There is some scope for adjusting the venue in case safety issues or water level issues arise.  This sprint venue is recommended by the Arkansas Headwaters River Authority for access safety.  My hope is to attract local western paddlers in general, Youth retuning from the Junior Olympics, Wildwater paddlers on their way to the Wildwater National in Washington State, and the usual high level of dedicated WWOCD competition.

Schedule of Events:

Race Headquarters

WWOCD National Championships Daily Schedule

Arkansas River, Coaldale, Colorado

Please Check the Schedule Daily for changes in the next days’ Timing

Monday 7/26 Official Practice Day

3:00 -5:00 p.m. Boat Inspection & Registration Bighorn Park

5:00 p.m. – Important Competitors Meeting Bighorn Park

Tuesday 7/27 DR Solo Men, Tandem Women, Long Kayaks

8:30 a.m. Competitors Meeting Vallie Bridge Put-in

Racing to start immediately after Meeting

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Boat Inspection & Registration Bighorn Park

5:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony & Meeting Bighorn park

Wednesday 7/28 Sprints

8:30 a.m. Competitors Meeting Bighorn Park Boat Launch

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Boat Inspection & Registration Bighorn Park

5:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony & Meeting Bighorn Park

Thursday 7/29 DR Mixed Tandem, Jr/Sr Tandem & Short Kayaks

8:30 a.m. Competitors Meeting Vallie Bridge Put-in

Racing to start immediately after Meeting

Solo Youth Race Kayak and Canoe After Lunch & After DR Races

Time and Course TBA

4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Boat Inspection & Registration Bighorn Park

6:00 p.m. Cowboy Dinner at Banderas Bunkhouse $13.78 All You Can Eat – BYOB

Awards Ceremony and Annual WWOCD Meeting following dinner

Friday 7/30 DR Solo Women, Tandem Men

8:30 a.m. Competitors Meeting Vallie Bridge Put-in

Racing to start immediately after Meeting

Tandem Canoe Youth Race After Lunch & After DR Races

Time and Course TBA

3:30 p.m. Final Awards Ceremony Bighorn Park

Headquarters will be located at Bighorn Park in Coaldale, Colorado at RV site #28.  Maps, schedules, and other pertinent information will be posted at race headquarters.

http://www.bighornpark.com The park website has a large area map and a map of their facilities as well as information about rates and reservations.  They have a very convenient boat ramp, tenting, cabins, motel rooms, bunk houses, and RV sites.  They have offered us a 10% discount on all their lodging rates.  This offer is good until July 19th.  Competitors not staying at Bighorn Park are asked to check in at the office and pay a dollar per day boat ramp fee when using their boat ramp to practice the sprint through Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood.  All dogs must be on a leash at all times.

Bighorn Park Resort
16373 Highway 50 W
Coaldale CO 81222