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2003 Team Trials, Nationals a Classic

Perfect race conditions, international presence spur U.S. racers to fast times.

by Chris Hipgrave
USAWildwater K-1
Treasurer, US Wildwater Committee

June 10, 2003 -- Kernville, CA

Racing offically got underway in sunny Kernville, California today with day one of the USA Wildwater Team Trials. This event serves triple duty as the selection event for the senior Wildwater World Cups following a week later at the same venue; as the USA National Wildwater Championships and as the West Coast Junior Team Trials.

Today's race was a classic format race on the Powerhouse section of the Kern River. About three miles upstream of Kernville, the race starts with a punch as the racer drops into and through "Powerhouse" the longest rapid on this section, across a long, but deep, pool and then into "Big Daddy"--another significant drop--before the racer motors through more fun rapids to the finish at the significant, steep drop, "Ewings", where more than one racer has crashed and burned in training.

Those competing in the USA Team Trials and the National Championships must compete in two days of racing. Today's was a classic long race. Tomorow's will be two runs of a sprint course. The winner of today's race is automatically selected onto the senior team and guaranteed a spot on the World Cup Team. The remaining 5 World Cup spots per class will be decided based on combined percentages over the two days of racing. Speed and consistency are key to selection.

This event is also the second half of the Junior selection process. The first half of the Junior Team was selected on the Nantahala River in North Carolina a few weeks prior. Those junior athletes selected will be departing directly from California to Mayrhofen Austria to race in the Junior World Championships. Juniors only have to race in today's race as part of their selection process.

Race conditions where perfect and we had the pleasure of racing against some Italian, British, Swiss and New Zealand paddlers that used our Team Trials as a time trial to judge fitness for the World Cups starting next week. Tomorow's sprint race will finalize who will be staying in Kernville to participate in the World Cups, and those who will go home to continue training.

C-1 C-2
Tom Wier 16.38.40 Bailey/Bailey 16:46.20
John Pinyerd +0:00:30 Lyda/Schurenb. +0:00:14
Tom Gray +0:01:02 (Junior) Harris/Davis +0:00:32
Bob Bofinger +0:01:07
Chuck Lyda +0:01:17 K1-W
Ed Gordon +0:01:26 Rebecca Giddens 16:51.70
Chris Wiegand +0:02:23 Katharine Edmo. +0:00:29
Mike Beck +0:02:51 Marci Cary +0:00:37
Alena Sumner +0:01:36
K-1 Perrin Pring +0:02:16 (Junior)
Andrew McEwan 14:27:40 Lisa Adams +0:03:50 (Junior)
Chris Hipgrave +0:00:39
Simon Beardmore +0:00:46
Eric Giddens +0:00:48
Austin Krissof +0:01:10
Middy Tilghman +0:01:17
Eric Young +0:01:19
Dave Hammond +0:01:21
Geoff Calhoun +0:01:35 (Junior)
Nick Borst +0:01:40 (Junior)
Clay Wilder +0:01:57 (Junior)
Tyler Dyer +0:02:14 (Junior)
Charlie Albright +0:03:31
Kal Eisenbud +0:13:07 (Junior)
Nathan Krissoff DQ

Chris Hipgrave is Tresurer of the U.S. Wildwater Committee and a K-1 Wildwater racer living near Bryson City, NC. Reach him at