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; [email protected] (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
Monday (June 18) Practice
Tuesday (June 19) Downriver Races
Classes: OC-2 Mixed
Wednesday (June 20) Sprint Races
Classes: All Sprint classes
Thursday (June 21) Downriver Races
Classes: OC-1 Men & (10-12) & (13-15)
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
NEEDING TO RELY HEAVILY ON THE COMPETITORS AND THEIR FAMILIES TO
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.