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Saturday, April 8, 2000 - Sunday, April 9, 2000
-- Webster Springs - Elk River, WV
Webster Wildwater River Race
Story and photos by Julie Bertsch

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Winners] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3]

2000 Webster Wildwater Race
The Elk was flowing a bit higher for this year'srace
Everyone could hear the thunder off in the distance as the rain began to fall on the little town of Webster Springs. It was time for the 2nd Annual Webster Wildwater Race, but the winds were so strong that race officials had to delay the start of the race for an hour. It seemed as if the tornado at Baker's Island would sweep away the registration pavilion, and the race would have to be continued in the far away land of OZ.

This year's monsoon of a storm was nothing like the warm and sunny weather that Mother Nature provided for last year's race. Still, the skies did not really pose a threat to the crowd of race ready river people, who always seem to be a rare breed of folks who actually seem to thrive in these type of situations.

2000 Webster Wildwater Race
Merrily Taylor leans to the left as the canoe drops off a ledge
After an hour of waiting in the rain, the wind had subsided, and it was time to send the racers down the 5 mile race course. The Elk was a bit "juicier" than last year, no doubt, making the wholes a bit stickier for paddlers as well. Parcoal Rapid seemed to be the first whole on the river that gave racers the most trouble. It was a cold day to be upside-down, or have a swim or two, and Parcoal was having it's way with some paddlers. Safety boaters were ready with throw ropes to help out anywhere on the river.

The first racer that could be seen in his big, blue Wildwater boat was Friendsville, Maryland native, Steve Kauffman. Kauffman, 3rd place Overall winner of the Ohiopyle Falls Race, sliced his way down the Elk River to set a new course record with a time of 34:51, and finished as the Overall Webster Wildwater Race Winner.

2000 Webster Wildwater Race
Kevin Fletcher gets ready to drop off of an overpour
Many race classes provided lots of plaques and gear prizes for everyone. When the race was over, it was time to get dry at Camp Caesar and get ready to celebrate! River tales, great food, and fun could be found at the camp. Most paddlers stuck around and boated on Sunday just for fun. Another successful downriver race, which had more people in it than 99', including more women kayakers. We hope to see you there next year!

If you're looking for more whitewater downriver races in WV that are going on this month check out the 2nd Annual Tim Gavin Downriver Race happening on Saturday, April 29, 2000.

Congratulations on a job well done to Race Directors Mike Sirbaugh, Geary Weir, and Jim Casey. Also congrats to the race sponsors & volunteers.
(Please refer to the bottom of the results page)