November 14, 2004 -- New Market, MD
The Tohickon Wildwater Classics was held on Saturday, November 6 and Sunday, November 7 on
the upper and lower section of the Tohickon Creek in Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
The race organizer and Wildwater Coach, Bob Bofinger got the idea to hold the race here
because this creek was where he grew up and he cruised and raced here many times. Also,
he wanted to promote Wildwater racing and to get more people involved in racing. The race
was open to all boats including Wildwater, slalom and recreational boats. For a little
history, Tohickon pronounced (To-hick-han) is the Lenape Indian word meaning "Deer Bone
Although there was a low turn out, the races were held. Bob asked many cruisers that
weekend to try to get them to race but he was not successful. Also, he mailed letters two
months prior to canoe clubs on the east coast. Anyway, he was glad to put on the races
and for those who participated, they had a great time. What a perfect weekend for November
with temperatures up in the 60's.
Race 1 was held on Saturday from Sweet Briar Road, just below Nockamixon dam to
Stover-Myers Mill just below PA-611. This Class I section was easier, but it was fast
and winded through the valley. The race started around 1 pm and Bob had is truck and
trailer for shuttling the racers. I paddled C-1 this day and I had tough competition from
the K1 class - especially Bob Horlacher and Rick Powell. Ross and Callum, who I was training,
did well and they had a chance to test their skills and training. After we finished, we
paddled the rest of the way down for approximately 3 miles to Ralph Stover Park. We had to
portage two dams but this did not stop Rick. He had beautiful runs in my Fast Wave Wildwater
kayak over both dams. This section had a lot of Class II whitewater which gave us a warm-up
for tomorrow's race. After awards, I took Callum and Ross down in recreation boats to show
them the lines and course. They did great!
Race 2 was held on Sunday from Ralph Stover Park to River Road (MD 32) approximately
3.8 miles. This section is considered the gorge with Class III whitewater and various
ledges and rocks to negotiate. We started promptly at 10 am. The release water came
through at about 9 am and we figured it would make it to the bottom before we did. Well, I
teamed up with Renee Gelblat in C2 Mixed which was my preference. We had an exceptional run
over the ledges and drops for being a made up team on the spot. Renee found out how exciting
it is to race Wildwater. Ross and Callum did a good jump running the rapids. Ross had
some problems with a spray skirt popping and a swim, but he hung in there and finished
the race. Rick found out how scary wildwater really is especially taking the Fast Wave
K-1 down this section. This was excellent conditioning for him prior to competing in slalom
next year. I am very proud of them all.
T-shirts were given out the first day and medals and trophies after each race. There
were special awards for those who raced both days for a combined score. I finally got
rid of those USA Caps from the 2003 Wildwater Cups on the Kern River, California.
Thanks to many of my friends and parents, the race was successful and many photographers
were there to take pictures.
The results are:
|K1 WW Plastic
||K1 WW Plastic|
|C. Lewandrowski ||31:24
|K-1 WW Master
||C-2 WW Mixed|
This race will be an annual event and we will try to promote it more next year for more
participation. Let me know if you have any ideas.
Bob Bofinger is a C1 Paddler on the US Wildwater team and a USA Team member.