2007 USA Wildwater National Championships
by Blair Winans
Charlemont, MA -- Zoar
Outdoor, has been awarded the bid for USA Wildwater Nationals on the
Deerfield River in Western Massachusetts for August 24-26, 2007. Zoar
Outdoor, a local outfitter operating guided raft trips and paddling
instruction (www.zoaroutdoor.com) on the river since 1989 will host the
race. During the 1990s, Zoar hosted a number of national competitions
on the Deerfield River including Slalom Nationals, Junior Team Trials,
Open-Boat Nationals, and Wildwater Nationals in 1993 and 1995.
The Deerfield River is a dam-controlled river running 70 miles from Vermont to Massachusetts with class 2-4 whitewater. The Zoar Gap section (www.zoaroutdoor.com/deerfield_ataglance.htm)
a 5-mile class 2 run with an average gradient of 25 feet per mile with
one class 3 rapid at the end. The average release from the dam is
700-900 cfs. The Zoar Gap section provides an easy "classic" wildwater
run good for beginning races. The class 3 rapid at the end of this run
has been the site of past slalom team trials and national championship
The Dryway section www.zoaroutdoor.com/dryway_ataglance.htm is a 4-mile section of continuous class 3-4 rapids with a gradient of 60-80 feet per mile. Releases provided by TransCanada (www.transcanada.com/power/usne.html) from a hydro generating facility, puts 900-1100 cfs through this section. There are several great "sprint" race locations along this section. The Dryway has been the past site of two wildwater national championships.
There will be a water release on the Dryway section on Friday for training with Saturday and Sunday being the race days. Zoar Outdoors will recognize Juniors, Masters and Grand Masters classes. The race dates would be guaranteed flows for 4-5 hours per day. There are no special access fees required by the power company that provide the releases. Shuttles for race and practice runs will be provided by Zoar Outdoor. The average weather in late August is hot with 80 degrees air temperature and 60 degrees water temperature.
Media contact: Karen Blom