American Canoe Association 2013 WWOCD National Championships
Nantahala River, North Carolina June 16-19
Race Organization: The American Canoe Association (ACA) 2013 Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver (WWOCD) National Championships will be hosted by Keith and Susan Havens.
Race Committee Members: Race Chairperson, Keith Havens; Chief Judge, Ed Sharp; Safety Officer, William McDuffie; Head Timer, Susan Havens
ACA WWOC Downriver Chair: Keith Havens
Registrar: Keith Havens, [email protected],
3970 Nashville Highway, Deer Lodge TN, 37726 , 423-965-5068
PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS: In order to put on the race, we will need to obtain a Special Use Permit from the United States Forest Service and additional hours of water release from Duke Energy. We will also need to consult with the Nantahala Gorge Association, the trade association for outfitters and other businesses in the Nantahala Gorge, Mystic Lands Development (end of Sprint Course) as well as with the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) in particular. 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. We need to be aware that the Nantahala is a heavily traveled river and even with all precautions taken interference from other river users (fishers, private boaters, and raft traffic) is always possible in June.
EVENT NAME: American Canoe Association (ACA) Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver (WWOCD) National Championships
Event Dates: June 16-19 (4 day event, with one practice day and three race days)
Event Schedule: Proposed schedule: Sprints each day of same classes as distance races, Sprints are 7:30 start, Distance race 8:45 start.
PRACTICE DAY: Sunday, June 16
DAY 1 (Monday, June17): Sprints and distance for OC-2 Men &OC-1 Women, OC-2 Youth
DAY 2 (Tuesday, June 18): Sprints and distance for OC-2 Mixed & OC-2 (10-16)/25, OC-1 Youth
DAY 3 (Weds, June 19): Sprints and distance for OC-2 Women & OC-1 Men.
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. The starts for both the downriver races and the sprints will be on at least 30 second intervals (with starting order within each class randomized), but may be on as much as one minute intervals, depending on number of competitors. 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 three days of racing for the 2013 National Championships are Monday through Wednesday, June 17-19. The sprint races will start first in the morning (a tentative starting time of 7:45 AM is planned; 8:45 AM for distance race starts) in an attempt to avoid the bulk of raft and other traffic on the river. The sprints are scheduled for the same day as the respective distance race for each class (see above). Sunday, June 16, 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 at the race start if arrangements can be made. Headquarters will be open at least from 2:00 – 5:00 each day, June 16 (Sunday) through June 18 (Tuesday), and probably at other times as well. All competitors must be registered, at a minimum, by the day before they compete. Early on-line registration via WWOCD website WWOCD Registration is preferred. Boat inspection can be completed during the normal hours that headquarters is open each day.
Awards ceremonies will take place at locations and times to be announced, as soon as possible after the race ends each day.
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; http://www.noc.com/whitewater-rafting/nantahala-river/driving-directions/ 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: Awards will be given based on age, gender and class (14% or 16%)