Great Falls Race
Welcome to the 2011 Potomac Fest Great Falls Race. Tom McEwan, the staff and students of Liquid Adventures Kayak School will organize the race.
The 2011 Great Falls Race will take place on the Fishladder, which is viewable from along the C&O Canal towpath on the Maryland side.
Please note the following:
Racers MUST pre-register this year. We will create a start list the night before the race, so that racers will know what their start order will be.
Classes will run in the following order: long boat, C-1, then short boat. Men and women will run together by class.
Three boats are needed to make a class. If there are fewer than three boats in a class those times may be combined into a single class. Ex: There may not be a short and long boat class for C1.
Racers will be screened by the race director on their capability to paddle class V whitewater and their experience with the lines being run that day on Great Falls. If there is any doubt about the racer competing in a safe manner, that racer will not be allowed to enter. All racers will be required to print and sign a waiver to be brought to the race.
As always, the actual course will be finalized the day of the event and will be determined by water level. However, we should have an educated guess on the likely course on Thursday before the race.
For the first time, racers must pre-register before the event. The start list will be finalized the evening before the race. No registrations or money will be accepted at the event.
We look forward to seeing you all. Thank you for coming out to race to support American Whitewater.
(Dependent upon level at the Little Falls Gauge and the Race Director’s discretion)
Maryland Lines (<2.8 ft. and 3.1 - 3.2 ft.)
Course starts on river left shore just left of the large rock in the middle of the channel above Pummel. Racers will navigate Pummel and then choose to either go through Pencil Sharpener or Z-turn. Racers will then navigate Horseshoe and finish at the location designated by the Race Director.
Virginia Lines (2.8 ft.- 3.0 ft.):
Course starts on the river right shore at the large vertical slab rock. Racers then choose from the three lines on the entrance rapid of the VA lines and then navigate S-bend. Racers complete the course after they have navigated the Spout and reached the furthest downstream point of the flake at the location designated by the Race Director.
Center Lines (3.3 ft.- 3.8 ft.):
Course starts on the river right shore above the VA line entrance rapid at the large vertical slab rock. Racers will ferry across the inflow to the VA lines and navigate Grace Under Pressure. Racers then navigate the rapid leading to the middle finger and the middle finger. The finish line is the rocky outcropping on the flake about 100 ft. downstream of the streamers at the location designated by the Race Director.
Fish Ladder (3.9 ft. - 5.5 ft.):
Course starts in an eddy/cove upstream of the first slide on river left. Racers navigate the first slide and then either choose to run the second slide or the tight quarters channel. Racers then navigate slides three and four and finish as their boat clears the hole at the bottom of fifth slide at the location designated by the Race Director.
Note: Course start and finish dependant on water levels and volunteer logistics. Descriptions of the particular start and finish line are intended as a guideline. The final details of the race will be presented at the competitors meeting. The race will be cancelled when Little Falls Gauge is above 5.5 ft.
Competitors may compete in two classes. Classes will run in the following order:
Long Boat Class - 9 ft and above
Short Boat Class - 8.11 ft and below
All racers must be able to attest to their experience paddling class V white water and be familiar with the lines on Great Falls.
Check-in shall open at 6:30 AM near the Great Falls Tavern, MD side. You will sign a waiver and get a numbered bib.
A competitors meeting will be held by Tom McEwan, Race Director, in the Great Falls Maryland parking lot at 7:00 AM. Course, levels, safety, event layout, schedule, and media needs will all be covered at the meeting. The race starts at 8:00 AM.
All racers will complete a timed run with race order determined by class and then bib number within that class. A minimum of three boats is needed to make up a class. If there are fewer than three boats, those racers will be included in another class by decision of the Race Director.
The top 10 in each boat class will get a second run, which will be counted as their final time. If a boat class has 10 or fewer boats, then the top 5 of that class will get a second run, which will count as a final time. Final runs will go in the same order as the first runs.
Racers will start on one minute intervals or as directed by the Starter. The next 3 racers in order should be on deck and ready to paddle. Racers will be held in place by the stern of their boats by the Starter's Assistant at the starting location. The Starter will provide a countdown to the start. Time ends when the racer hits the finish line target, as determined by the Finish Judges. Racers will wait on the next racer to finish, as safety, before hiking back up.
Any grievances regarding results (timing, judging, etc.) must be brought to the attention of the Race Director, who can be found near the start, immediately following announcement of top 10. Anyone with a grievance must be able to substantiate their claim, or original results will stand. The Race Director will make a final decision based on the facts at hand and commence the final runs.
Final results will be published on this website the day after the race with the winners announced at the P-Fest Party.