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Exact dates of events, as it now stands, are...
Downriver: Sunday, Aug. 9, 1998; starts at 6:00 PM
Free-style: 3-prelim heats;
Downriver will be at least one event, starting at Aspen Camp, going 1 1/2 miles to Lava Island Camp. Most of the run is easy flat, class-1. However, the paddler will go through a couple of class 2's and through Big Eddy Rapid. This rapid is considered a class 3+. I give it class 4. It is a fairly big drop, and swims through here are not pretty. It deserves some respect. I have been talking to some national wildwater racers who think a sprint event would be good, and if I can sqeeze it in, it would start at the top of Big Eddy, and take out at the bottom. But as you can see, my schedule is pretty full. So we will see about the second downriver event...
Free-style will take place at Big Eddy Rapid. In the middle of it, there is a great souse-hole. Retentive maneuvers are obtainable. 2 weeks ago, the winner of our local rodeo got a 14 point cartwheel. Lots of fun.
The slalom will be at First St. Rapid, 3 blocks from downtown Bend. It is a class-2 rapid. Very straight forward. But, I think we can set the gates to create a technical, tight course that could challenge most racers. If you are ever out this way, prior to the race, ring me up at 541 389-9178 and I will take you by to look at the rapid, and give the history behind where things are at now. I can't say how the rapids, or courses compare with those that you have indicated, since I have not seen any of those places you indicated. Both stretches of the river are natural.
I am limiting the number of entries to 50 for the downriver, 150 for the free-style, and 200 for the slalom. I have to do this in order to be able to maintain some control over the event. Obviously, I would like to see some real quality competitors. Right now is sort of a critical time to get the word out to the racing community that this will be a fun race. As there is no qualification requirements to enter, I suspect that the range of boating abilities could be fairly large. We could very easily have some "week-end warriors", but I hope to off-set them with some real competitive racers.
I am guessing here, but with a C-2 team, I would say that the average age of the team determines the age group it enters. This seems to be the easiest, and most logical way to categorize teams.
I hope this answers your questions. Tell everyone about our event. I personally think we will get some great boaters here. Our community, Bend, is gearing up for the event. People are getting very excited about the event. Kayaking is becoming well-known in these parts, thanks to World Masters Games. If I can answer any other questions, you now know how to get in touch with me.
(Alternate contact: Jim Virgin, JVirgin@aol.com)