American Canoe Association 2012 WWOCD National Championships

Submitted by FB Canoe Racing, Inc. on September 26, 2011
Proposed Site: Nantahala River, North Carolina
Proposed Dates: June 18-22, 2012

RACE ORGANIZATION: The American Canoe Association (ACA)

2012 Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver (WWOCD) National Championships will be hosted

by the FB Canoe Racing, Inc., a North Carolina nonprofit corporation that also hosted the

2008 Nationals on the French Broad River.

Race Committee Members:

Race Chairperson William McDuffie

Downriver Chairperson Lynne McDuffie

Chief Judge Ed Sharp

Safety Officer To be determined

ACA WWOC Downriver Chair: George Stockman currently; may change January 1

Registrar (pre-race work only): Tom Blue; 400 Tinkerbell Road, Chapel Hill, NC, 27517;

(919) 428-4302; fbracechair@earthlink.net (e-mail is preferred method of contact; thanks)

PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS: In order to put on the race, FB Canoe Racing, Inc.

will need to obtain a Special Use Permit from the United States Forest Service and additional

hours of water release from Duke Energy (there is a Flow Schedule Planning Meeting set for

October 12, 2011). FB Canoe Racing, Inc. will also need to consult with the Nantahala Gorge

Association, the trade association for outfitters and other businesses in the Nantahala Gorge,

as well as with the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) in particular. All of these processes

have begun and none is expected to be problematic. However, without the cooperation of

these entities, it will not be possible to host the WWOCD Nationals on the Nantahala in June.

The additional hours of water release from Duke Energy are necessary so that the competition

can start early in the morning. The ACA needs to consider that the Nantahala is a heavily

traveled river and that interference from other river uses is always possible in June.

EVENT NAME: American Canoe Association (ACA) Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver

(WWOCD) National Championships

Event Dates: June 18 to June 22, 2012 (five days, Monday through Friday)

Entry Form: Download Race Entry Form

Event Schedule:

Monday (June 18) Practice

Tuesday (June 19) Downriver Races

Classes: OC-2 Mixed

OC-2 (10-16/25-up)

Wednesday (June 20) Sprint Races

Classes: All Sprint classes

Thursday (June 21) Downriver Races

Classes: OC-1 Men & (10-12) & (13-15)

OC-2 Women

Friday (June 22) Downriver Races

Classes: OC-1 Women

OC-2 Men & (10-12) & (13-15)

RACE COURSES: The downriver race course will be the full eight miles of the Nantahala,

from above Patton’s Run through Nantahala Falls. The sprint races will be on the top mile of

the river, from above Patton’s Run to the Winding Stairs Road bridge. It is anticipated that

the competitors will start in heats for the downriver races but start at one-minute intervals for

the sprint races; however, changes to either format are possible. It is estimated that

competitors will take approximately 50 minutes to 75 minutes to complete the downriver

course and 8 to 10 minutes to complete the sprint course. The location of the races for the

younger age group classes (10-12) and (13-15) will be determined at the time of the event, but

it is likely to be from The Ledges to just above Nantahala Falls, a distance of about 3 miles.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS: The Nantahala River is one of the classic runs for whitewater

open canoe racing. The WWOCD Nationals have been held there many times, last in 2003.

The Nantahala consists of about 8 miles of continuous Class I and II, with one rapid near the

start of the run (Patton’s Run) rated II+ and one near the end of the run (Nantahala Falls) rated

III on the American Whitewater Association’s Standard Rated Rapids list. The average drop

is about 35 feet per mile. The median volume in mid-June is around 600 CFS. The water is

COLD, having been pulled off the bottom of Nantahala Lake and fed through the power plant

before filling the river bed. There are multiple access points because Highway 74 parallels

the river along the entire 8 mile section. A superb source of information about the Nantahala

is Chris Bell’s Boating Beta page; see: http://www.boatingbeta.com/runs/nantahala.htm

DATES AND TIMES: The four days of racing for the 2012 National Championships are

Tuesday through Friday, June 19-22. The races will start in the morning (a tentative starting

time of 8:30 AM is planned; 10:00 AM for junior classes) in an attempt to avoid the bulk of

raft and other traffic on the river. The sprints are scheduled for Wednesday and downriver

classes for Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Monday, June 18, is an official practice day,

though the Nantahala can be practiced any time that Duke Energy is generating at the

Nantahala Plant. A schedule of expected releases times can be found on Chris Bell’s Boating

Beta page; see: http://www.boatingbeta.com/releases/nantahala

FACILITIES, LOCATIONS & PARKING: Race headquarters will be located somewhere

near the top of the run, perhaps on property owned by Duke Energy if arrangements can be

made. Headquarters will be open at least from 2:00 – 5:00 each day, June 18 (Monday)

through June 21 (Thursday), and probably at other times as well. All competitors must be

registered, at a minimum, by the day before they compete. Boat inspection can be completed

during the normal hours that headquarters is open each day.

Awards ceremonies will take place at Race Headquarters at 5:00 on Tuesday, at 6:00 at “The

Pourover” at Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) on Wednesday, back to Race Headquarters at

5:00 on Thursday and at Race Headquarters as early as possible (perhaps noon) on Friday.

There is sufficient parking at the starting line/put-in area because of the overflow area across

Highway 19/74. The primary parking at the takeout is on the property of NOC at a time of

year when they are already incredibly busy. The competitors will need to minimize their use

of NOC parking. Those with the luxury of a separate shuttle driver should utilize that.

Alternatively, at the end of a run, it may be possible to have NOC throw a boat up on top of

one of their busses and give the competitors a lift back up to the top. On those occasions

when parking at NOC is unavoidable, competitors will need to carpool and cross the railroad

tracks before parking, thereby leaving the prime parking spaces for NOC’s paying customers.

LOCAL AREA: Our racing venue is between Andrews and Bryson City County, North

Carolina, which is a prime outdoor recreation area. It offers outstanding hiking, biking,

camping, fishing, rafting, and whitewater canoeing.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Because race headquarters will be located at the upstream end of

Nantahala Gorge, motels and camping near the upper end of the Gorge and in the town of

Andrews will be just as convenient for the competitors as would locations near the lower end

of the Gorge or near the town of Bryson City.

DIRECTIONS: The easiest way to give directions is just to use those posted by Nantahala

Outdoor Center; see http://www.noc.com/whitewater-rafting/nantahala-river/drivingdirections/

Keep in mind, however, that these are directions to the finish line of the downriver

events, while the race headquarters will be at the upper end of the run, eight miles farther west

on Route 74.

WEATHER: For being in the sunny south, the Nantahala Gorge can be a relatively cool

place in the summer, in part because the river is a moving icebox down the middle of it. The

mean high temperature in June is just over 80 degrees and the mean low temperature is just

over 50 degrees. The water temperature in June, however, never cracks 55 degrees.

RUNNING OF THE EVENT: The event will be conducted according to the American

Canoe Association Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver Racing Rules. WE ANTICIPATE


ASSIST WITH THE RUNNING OF THE EVENT. Some of the volunteers that have helped

us in the past have conflicts with these dates, but these mid-June dates are necessary given the

heavy volume of river traffic during July and August on the Nantahala.


 AWARDS: 1) Willis Hackett Trophy to be given on criteria set by ACA WWOCD

Committee in the Fall of 2012. 2) Award for fastest time by a male (any class). 3) Award

for fastest time by a female (any class). 4) Award for youngest paddler. 5) “MVP” award to

be given by FB Canoe Racing; MVP stands for “Most Venerable Paddler” and will be

determined by total number of minutes on course divided by age in years (e.g. 66 minutes/66

years = 1.000 whereas 60 minutes/40 years = 1.500); lowest score of any solo class wins.


REGISTRATION: When available, registration forms and information about the race can

be found at the web site for FB Canoe Racing, Inc.: www.fbcanoeracing.org

Respectfully submitted September 26, 2011

FB Canoe Racing, Inc.