December 8, 2008 -- Glenwood Springs, CO
This next race year, 2009, is a Junior World Championship Year with those race’s venue being the Engleberger River near
Buochs, Switzerland--about 15 miles to the South Southeast of Lucerne. The Engleberger course will be on relatively
friendly water on a run that will put a premium on our athletes’ conditioning and speed.
The sites for next season’s Eastern and Western Junior Nation Wildwater Team Trial Races have been set and each were
chosen because, like the Engleberger course, they offered courses on which success was dependent upon the racers
demonstrating conditioning and speed. Our Eastern Team Trials will be held on the Nantahala River in western North
Carolina. The Nantahala is the river that Chris Osment, this year’s Junior Team Manager, uses to compare the Swiss
course to. Chris has lived in Switzerland and is very familiar with the Engleberger and the region around it. The
Eastern US Junior Team Trials will be sponsored by the Natahala Racing club and will be held in conjunction with
the NRC’s “US Open” races on the weekend of March 28th and 29th.
Our Western Team Trials are set to be held on the weekend of April 25th and 26th on the Colorado River in the
Glenwood Canyon area of Colorado. This part of the Colorado River is very scenic and has been used in past US
National Championships. The Western US Junior Team Trials will be component races within this year’s “Glenwood Wildwater
Jubilee” races sponsored by the Great Blue Heron Canoe and Kayak Club. Senior racers will be welcome to compete in
their own age categories at both the Nantahala and the Glenwood Canyon events.
For each race venue chosen there were a number of other bids that were considered and passed over. In each bid there
were virtues and advantages presented that would have made for a great event. Our hope is that these race organizers
will be undaunted and will work to hold their proposed races with a regional focus. A key for our country’s teams to
be competitive is having a well trained and race-experienced body of competitors to choose from. When properly
considered our Junior Team's ultimate success is very dependant upon our domestic program having enough training camps,
ongoing training programs, race directors, and senior racers out there working with and mentoring our junior racers.
We have just seven months before the Jr. Worlds. What happens in the next six months in terms of stateside training
and racing will make a real difference in how our juniors do in July.