The 2012 Freestyle Kayaking World Cup Champion will be decided September 7-9 on the Nantahala River. Athletes from more than 17 countries and 5 continents have been participating in two World Cup preliminary rounds for the past week – on the Caney Fork River in Rock Island, TN, and on the Pigeon River in Hartford, TN – before proceeding to the Nantahala Gorge for this weekend’s Final.
The break between the first two rounds and the Final will allow athletes the opportunity to get in valuable training time on the Nantahala’s 2013 Wave freestyle feature.
Judges will be using the new NOC digital freestyle scoring system, which was unveiled for the 2012 World Cup Series, and real-time scores will be displayed at the venue. "The scoring system makes the sport truly accessible to spectators and enthusiasts," said designer Raymond Brugger of Bryson City, NC.
Competition will begin at 10 am each day and end around 7 pm. Spectators can expect shaded riverside seating, live DJ and event announcer. Southwestern Community College student volunteers will be hosting kids' activities riverside near Slow Joe's Cafe on Saturday afternoon from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Activities will include face painting, coloring, and a variety of games for kids of all ages.
Competition will be followed by free live music on Friday and Saturday evening. On Sunday, following the conclusion of competition, the event winners as well as the overall World Cup Champions will be recognized at a riverside awards ceremony. Several local children will be assisting with the presentation of medals.
Event organizers do not anticipate traffic issues in the Nantahala Gorge, but through-traffic will be asked to slow down approaching the event site. The NC Highway patrol will be onsite to help keep traffic moving at a safe pace. Staff, volunteer, and spectator parking will be available in remote lots along Silvermine Rd, with free shuttles driving to and from the event site approximately every 10 minutes. Silvermine Road intersects Highway 19/74 in the Nantahala River Gorge across from the NOC Outfitters Store.
Results are posted daily at FreestyleKayaking2013.com.