Borrowing a line from Field of Dreams, the Nantahala Outdoor Center gears up this week for the 2012 NOC Freestyle Shootout April 20-22, the first official freestyle event to be held at the newly enhanced Nantahala Wave, designed for the upcoming 2013 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships.
Made possible through a grant from the Golden Leaf Foundation, the 2013 Wave will bring world-class competition to the Nantahala Gorge this weekend, while also remaining open to competitors of all ages and ability levels (classes and clinics for paddlers of every stripe are available throughout the weekend).
“Anything may happen at this year’s event, and that has everyone here really buzzing,” says event organizer Charles Conner. “The newly dialed-in feature could produce some excellent scores, and the new judging software will push the event much closer to real-time scoring. The athletes know their input is going to determine the way we progress to the Worlds. As organizers we’re pretty stoked—the event will be the epicenter of freestyle paddling world for three days.”
The NOC Freestyle Shootout is a USAFK Point Series Event, and is one of five designated U.S. qualifiers for the 2012 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Cup. Athletes wishing to participate in the 2012 World Cup must be full members in good standing with USACK, and register to compete with USAFK www.usafreestylekayak.com .
NOC will also host free Demo Days over the weekend where paddlers can choose from over 60 boats and test-paddle them on the Nantahala. Reps will be on hand to answer questions about the year’s hottest gear. NOC’s campus provides 360-degree views of the event and convenient foodservice and lodging options.
Dagger Kayaks will also be sponsoring the Dagger Dash, attainment race on Sunday and race from the Founder’s Bridge to Nantahala Falls and back for the grand prize of a Dagger Greenboat.
The overall 2012 purse is $10,000, and includes not just cash moneys, but boats and other gear.
Men’s Pro Prizes:
1st Place: $1,000
2nd Place: $600
3rd Place: $300
Women’s Pro Prizes:
1st Place: $500
Cash prizes for 2nd and 3rd place will depend on the depth of the class.
Friday, April 20
Open Surf Under the Lights! We invite all competitors to practice on the feature Friday night. We’ve rented nighttime illumination, so even late arrivals can get some practice time. Non-competitors are encouraged to spend some time on the water too. See the video above for an idea of how this works.
Saturday & Sunday, April 21-22
Hole time is limited to 45 seconds per ride.
Three rides Saturday, April 16 (Qualifier/Elimination)
Three rides Sunday, April 17 (Finals – top six in each division)
Must have five contestants in each division for prizes.
Walk-up and register for the 2012 NOC Freestyle Shootout at Slow Joe’s Cafe on Friday, April 20th from 5 to 8pm. Registration is capped at 100 paddlers. Late registration will be available at Slow Joe’s Cafe on Saturday, April 2st from 9-10am, contingent on available space.
Two-day event open entry:
Free to non-sponsored NOC employees and NOC Youth Paddling Team paddlers.
K-1 Men Pro
K-1 Women Pro
K-1 Men Expert
C-1 Men Expert
K-1 Men Open
K-1 Women Open
OC-1 Men Open
K-1 Men Junior
K-1 Women Junior
(All Classes are subject to participation. Other classes may open if there are enough participants.)