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Second Annual Chute the Hooch Training Camp

John Pinyerd
USAWildwater Committee Chair

January 15-16, 2005 -- Atlanta, GA

The Second Annual Chute the Hooch Training camp was a blast. The mild Hotlanta winter weather and some great training areas for flatwater and easy whitewater make an excellent venue. Lynn Pinyerd gave us a complete kitchen pass and run of the house so we were set for communal style food and lodging, and a great place to review video.

Chris Hipgrave did an outstanding job of helping to organize and coach the event. His knowledge of world-class kayaking technique and his dedication to our sport really spelled success. Martin Bay's video and coaching was also very helpful. As always, this mini clinic was free of charge and we welcomed all ability levels for all or part of the weekend (annual membership to USACK and donations to USA Wildwater make races and clinics like this possible).

Saturday focused on technique, aerobic development, speed work and video analysis. Two-time Olympian, and Olympic Gold Medalist, Joe Jacobi set the tone of the weekends training camp. His thoughtful point to the group was that "we all need to learn and improve our paddling skills". Saturday's session was also attended by the great marathon kayaker and National Champion, Barend Spies, who helped our coach our top kayakers. Sunday focused more on turning and whitewater skills. Olympian Wayne Dikert's instruction on how to turn the boat was very helpful.

The Sunday afternoon session was an actual Wildwater race on the whitewater section of the mighty metro Hooch, from Powers Ferry to Akers Mill. In men's kayak, Chris Hipgrave dominated. However, the top C-1, John Pinyerd armed with the home court advantage, and a determination to try and catch Bern Collins, finished only 9.7% back off of Hipgrave.

But the most exciting aspect of the weekend was the turnout. It was a mixture of old friends like Wayne Dickert, several USA Team members, a half dozen juniors, and lots of newcomers. Bob Holacher wins the medal for the longest drive (from PA).

Perhaps the only somber note of the training camp occurred when the 15 racers were met at our mock finish line during Sunday's race by Melissa Lanche, a Park Ranger for the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area. Melissa seems to be a friend to paddlers and supportive of what we were doing, but the CNRA has the reputation of being the Mafia in a green uniform. I am hopeful that my honesty and openness was all she needed.

Keep on training. Thanks to everyone who participated.

2005 Chute tha Hooch Race Results
ClassNameTime% Back
K-1W JREmily Stein21:450.0%
K-1WTrish Hipgrave24:31112.7%
K-1W JRErin Wilder25:23116.7%
K-1W JRTierney O'Sullivan25:32117.4%
C-1John Pinyerd21:000.0%
C-1Wayne Dickert22:26106.8%
K-1Chris Hipgrave19:090.0%
K-1 MasterBern Collins20:47108.5%
K-1Clay Wilder21:26111.9%
K-1Lincoln Williams21:35112.7%
K-1Tyler Dyer22:23116.9%
K-1 JRChan Jones23:04120.5%
K-1Jack Burnett23:08120.8%
K-1 CadetCasey Jones24:46129.3%
K-1 MasterBob Horlacher31:37165.1%

John Pinyerd is a 9-time USA Wildwater Team member, a Bronze Medalist in International Competition, and has won dozens of medals in Wildwater at the National level.