The WWOD Nationals, sponsored by the Birch Hill Canoe Club,  were held on the Deerfield
River in Charlemont, MA on July 14-17. Thanks to the many volunteers who worked to make
this event successful and a lot of fun.

The weather was sunny and in the 80’s and the water releases were between 800 and 900
cfs, so not all days had the same conditions. Perhaps the river was faster and the Zoar Gap
a little easier on Sunday with the 900 cfs release. There were several kayak classes in addition
to the ACA canoe classes and a joint nationals may again be planned for 2012. While there
were may spills, fills, and 180’s  in the tough Gap rapid, there were no serious injuries. The hot weather
brought out hundreds of tubers who sometimes added obstacles to the course for some paddlers.

The results show multiple outstanding performances by some paddlers. The fastest canoe time
for the long course was 1:03:10 by Jeff Owen and Steve Woodard and the fastest canoe sprint was
10:59 by Ed Sharp and Keith Havens. In a kayak, Mark Wendolowski ran 8:42 in the sprint and
56:38 on the long course. The Youngest Paddler Award went to Ellie Siegfried and the
Sportsmanship Award went to Brian Beaupre.

There were many fine pictures and videos taken of this event and some will be posted here in the
future. Many great pictures can be seen on the Birch Hill Canoe Club’s Facebook Pages.

Click here for the 2011 Race Results

2011 ACA WWOCD National Championship

Race Description:

Charley Brackett (ACA New England Division) and the Birch Hill Canoe Club  would like to invite all downriver racers from around the country to the ACA WWOCD National Championship on the Deerfield River at Zoar Gap, MA from July 13 through July 17, 2011.


Rule changes implemented in March 2010 (Article XVII: Safety) require that each competitor must wear a properly fitting paddling helmet (no bicycle helmets) and must carry a throw rope that is readily accessible.


There will be a Race Clinic in Charlemont on Sunday, July 10 starting 10 AM. Those assisting with the clinic should be at HQ (Mohawk Pub) by 10 AM. First, some videos will be shown. Afterward, we’re off to the Gap to take some new WW paddlers through it. A trailer will be available for frequent shuttles.

Brochures & Documentation:

Race Description:

The 2011 American Canoe Association’s Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver (WWOCD) and Sprint National Championships will be held on the Deerfield River at Zoar Gap, MA on 13-17 July, 2011.  Some of the past venues for this competition include the lower Youghiogheny River, Ohiopyle, PA; the Dead River, West Forks ME; the French Broad River, Hot Springs, NC; the James River, Richmond, VA: the Nantahala River, Wesser, NC: and in 2010, the Arkansas River, Salida, CO.  This year the men and women’s ACA National Champions for solo and tandem classes in Whitewater Open Canoe for both downriver and sprints will be determined during four days of racing on the Deerfield.  On site registration and boat inspection for the competition will be conducted at the Mohawk Park Campground Restaurant & Pub (413 339-4470) in Charlemont, MA between 3:00 and 6:00 PM daily beginning on Wednesday, July 13.  Mass starts by class will begin each day (except Friday), approximately between 12:00 Noon and 3:00 PM depending on the daily water releases and their duration.  The same race venue will be used for downriver kayak competition.

The downriver races are a little over one hour in duration and the sprints are about 12 minutes in duration. The National Championships are expected to be very competitive as witnessed by a three way tie for the OC-1 Championship for 40-54 men’s sprint competition when the Nationals were held on the Deerfield in 2002.  At that time, William McDuffie (Robbins, NC), Kirk Havens (Plainview, VA), and Jim Farrington (Chesapeake, VA) all turned in times of 11min and 33 sec for their sprint runs through Zoar Gap.  The downriver OC-2 Mixed race proved to be the most exciting of the 2006 Nationals when the event was last held on the Deerfield.  A total of eight seconds separated the first four canoes across the finish line after a mass start and an hour and seven minutes of furious whitewater racing.  After many lead changes throughout the race the team of Karen Levitt & Bill Kelly (1:07:04) were across first, followed 4 seconds later by Lynne & William McDuffie who were one second in front of Laura Griskevich & John Kazimierczyk.  Three seconds later the fourth place team of Terese Galvin and Travis Wheeler came across the finish line.  Competitors can expect more of the same in 2011.

Men (includes all age groups); Women (includes all age groups); NA (Class not available)

DR & Sprint Competitors Classed by age as of (7/13/2011)

(10-12), (13-15), (10-16/25), (16-18), (19-39), (40-54), (55-up)

Proper Age group will be assigned by the Registrar

One DR-race/day and no more than 3 Sprint races /competitor

Race starts will be between 12:00 Noon and 3:00 PM (water release dependent).

Hard shell helmets and U.S. Coast Guard approved PFDs are mandatory

Schedule of Events:

July 13 – Practice Day (all classes)

July 14 – OC-1 Women/OC-2 Men/OC-1 Youth (10-12) and (13-15)

– Kayak Practice

July 15 – Sprints – (all classes) Canoes & Kayaks

July 16 – OC-2 Women/OC-1 Men/OC-2 Youth (10-12) and (13-15); Short Kayaks (men & women); Non-Championship Adult/Youth class (shorter course)

July 17 – OC-2 Mixed/OC-2 (10-16)/25; Long Kayaks (men & women)

Water releases from Fife Brook Dam start between 9:30 AM and 12:00 noon with a flow of at least 700cfs for a 3-hour duration.  Competitors can check the river conditions by calling the River Information Waterline at (800) 452-1737 site code 255123.

Additional information regarding entry forms, sponsorship opportunities, race-course descriptions, camping, lodging and restaurants can be found at the following web-sites or by contacting Charley Brackett, Race Director & ACA New England WWOC Downriver Chair – Phone: 603-585-7167.