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Sunday, December 3, 2000 -- Bethesda, MD
Little Falls Sprint and Classic
Story and photos by Chris Norbury

[Details] [Coverage]

Little Falls Sprint/Classic
A chilly downriver sprint
Sunday, December 3rd, saw the second annual Little Falls Classic Race, following a training weekend for wildwater paddlers on the Potomac in Bethesda, MD. The training weekend included theoretical discussion of wildwater technique, video analysis on both flat and rough water, as well as on kayak ergometers, a flat water time trial and boat control workouts in the Mather Gorge. By the time Sunday afternoon arrived numbers had dwindled as the temperature fell, with wind chill, to a bone numbing 17 degrees.

The river level was between 3 and 3.1 feet on the Little Falls Gauge, equating to a flow of between 3000 and 4000 cfs, a good, if friendly, level. The course included the infamous boat breaking Rubble Dam, as well as close inspection of the Pillow on the island at Little Falls itself.

Little Falls Sprint/Classic
Paddling fast to the finish
Andrew McEwan cemented his position at the top of the National Wildwater Rankings for 2000 with a win, nearly 80 seconds ahead of Heinz Roethenmund, who held off the challenge of Chris Norbury by a paltry 2 seconds over the 15 minute race.

Shannon Reeves continued a weekend of progression finishing over 30 seconds ahead of national junior teammate Beth Karp. The competitors hurriedly left the river, chipping the ice from their sprayskirts to get out as fast as possible.

Many Thanks:
To those who helped out with the training camp in a variety of ways, including Matt Lutz, Scott Overdorf, Heinz Rothenmund, Mark Moore (and the St Albans school), Steve LeBeau, Silvan Poberaj, Jennifer Hearn and Emmy Truckenmiller.


  • Andrew McEwan - MK1, 14-21
  • Heinz Roethenmund - MK1, 15-40
  • Chris Norbury - MK1, 15-42
  • Steve LeBeau - MK1 WH, 19-41
  • Shannon Reeves - WK1 JR, 20.03
  • Beth Karp - WK1 JR, 20.35