May 26, 2006
-- Atlanta, GA
The 2007 Wildwater Junior World Championships are YOUR Chance To Race on your Home Soil
(July 15-21, 2007)!
I’m calling on all coaches, organizers and junior whitewater and sprint racers to seize this
opportunity. There are only a few times in life that the golden ring of opportunity will be right
in your grasp. The 2007 Wildwater Junior World Championships are one of those rare opportunities.
There will be plenty of chance for racers to develop a home court advantage with the Classic Race
being held in Columbia SC on the Saluda River and the Sprint Race being held in Charlotte, NC at the
Charlotte Whitewater Park. NOW is the time to start planning how YOU can seize this opportunity.
We need racers in virtually every category if we are to field a full team. This is especially true
in the women’s kayak and the men’s canoe classes (both C-1 and C-2).
North America has a very rich history in canoeing, more so than any other region of the world.
Native North Americans may have invented the canoe. The impact of the North American canoe eventually
spilled over to modern canoe and kayak racing, even to the way that the race classes are designated.
The International Canoe Federation (ICF) designation for the “C” in C-1 and C-2 stands for Canadian
canoe just as the “K” in designates kayak.
In Wildwater and Slalom, the majority of the racers needed to fill the ICF Classes are canoeist.
For example, in Wildwater a full World Championships team consists of four K-1s, four K-1W’s,
four C-1’s, and four C-2’s (for a total of twelve canoeist and only four men’s kayaks and four woman’s
From the very beginning, North American’s have played a huge role in the canoe racing over the years.
Perhaps the most noteworthy accomplishment was America’s two decade dominance in Slalom canoeing.
It began with Jamie McEwans’s bronze medal win in the 1972 Olympics and perhaps culminated with the Gold
Medal earned by Strausbough and Jacobi in the 1992 Olympics. McEwan, Jon Lugbill and Davey Hern, along
with Bob Robinson, Kent Ford and the Hallers racked up dozens of medals in international competition
along the way and also changed the design of the modern slalom canoe.
The Americans have also been successful in Wildwater canoeing at the international level. Perhaps
our greatest single achievement was the “perfect run” at the 1981 Worlds at Bala (GBR) in the C-2
Mixed class that earned Mike Hipsher and Bunny Johns the Gold medal. In addition, John Butler proved
that we could also compete in C-1 by winning the Bronze at the 1985 Worlds in Garmisch (GER). Our team
strength in canoe also showed at the 88 Pre-Worlds when the Americans earned medals in the team runs.
Ultimately, Andy Bridge was our most dominate Wildwater canoeist on the international scene. Bridge
won a plethora of World Cups as well as the overall World Cup Champions in 1990. His style of switching
sides to match the river conditions was widely adopted by Wildwater canoeist shortly afterwards.
But if you look at the numbers of participants in C-1 and C-2, you might never know of our proud North
American history in canoeing excellence. NOW IS OUR CHANCE to reclaim some of our rich canoeing heritage
beginning with the 2007 Wildwater Junior Worlds!
I’m calling all able-bodied whitewater and sprint racers to seize this once and a lifetime opportunity.
Come out and train and race wildwater and get ready for the 2007 Junior Worlds!
Let me know how I can help you get started.
USA Wildwater - Chairman
Note: Pinyerd is a veteran of a dozen US Teams, a two-time Medalist International Wildwater
Competition, and has won dozens of medals in Wildwater at the National level.