NRC will host the annual Glacier Breaker slalom and wildwater races on the Nantahala River in Bryson City, NC on March 8-9, 2014. The Glacier Breaker will be the first race of the year on the Nantahala River, and is suitable for confident beginners through advanced paddlers. The event has been rescheduled from February 22 – 23 to accommodate regularly scheduled maintenance on Nantahala Dam.
On Saturday, March 8, the Glacier Breaker slalom race will be held at the Nantahala Bridge Gates course, while the wildwater sprint will begin at Donnie Dutton Park. The Wildwater Classic will begin at The Ledges Rapid on Sunday, March 9. Competitors can register online by visiting NantahalaRacingClub.com/events, or they can register day-of from 9 – 10 am at River’s End Restaurant. Registration costs $20 – 30 per person.
The Glacier Breaker is an all-ages race, and is particularly popular with young paddlers because of the accessibility of the course. In 2014, the slalom component is designated as a “South-Atlantic Regional Team Qualifier.” Youth paddlers aged 16 and under who attend at least three of the five designated “qualifiers” in the South-Atlantic region can earn the chance to race and train with US National Team coaches later this summer. The Regional Teams initiative is funded by the Whitewater Slalom Foundation to support USA Canoe/Kayak development efforts by encouraging commitment and excellence in young paddlers. A list of all five South-Atlantic Regional Team Qualifiers can be found at HERE.
The Glacier Breaker is the first of 10 whitewater races that NRC has committed to in 2014, along with a number of youth and adult camps and clinics aimed at supporting member’s training and developing the sport in the Southeast. The NRC Board is excited by the expansion in programming and member benefits. Michael Montagne, NRC Athlete Representative said, “We are working to rebuild our membership and to give back to the whitewater community. Much of our new programming targets younger paddlers, but there are ways for paddlers and non-paddlers of all ages to get involved. We look forward to seeing where our efforts take us by the end of the year.”