After a 25-year hiatus, the Canoe Slalom world has returned to the mountains of western Maryland for the Deep Creek 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships (September 18-21). Unlike the 1989 World Championships which were held on a natural course on the Savage River, the athletes at these championships will compete on the artificial whitewater course at the Adventure Sport Center International (ASCI). Though athletes are quite accustomed to competing on artificial courses, the water at ASCI is very unique as it was built using real rocks and designed to have the same feel as a natural river.
Tomorrow's competition begins with the K1 Men's heats where 2014 U23 World Champion Michal Smolen (Gastonia, NC) looks to put an exclamation point his already strong 2014 international racing season. Two-time Olympic Medalist and former World Champion Fabien Lefevre (Bethesda, MD) will try to best his 4th place finish at last year's world championships as he competes in his newly adopted home state. After a strong finish to his World Cup season, Richard Powell (Gastonia, NC) hopes to continue his upward trend as he competes on American soil.
In the C1 Men's category, two-time Olympian Casey Eichfeld (Charlotte, NC) looks to prove that he is more than just the poster-boy for these championships and find his way into another final. Fabien Lefevre will try to continue his strong international racing season in canoe with another finals appearance. Meanwhile, Zach "Bug" Lokken (Durango, CO) looks to learn from his previous experience competing on home soil.
Micki Reeves (Grand Junction, CO) and Tracy Hines (Charlotte, NC) hope to use their 2014 international racing experience to their advantage in the C1 Women's class. Colleen Hickey (Charlotte, NC) makes her 2014 international racing debut tomorrow.
In the K1 Women's category, Dana Mann (Washington, DC) will try to break through after a 5th place finish at the 2013 World Championships. Ashley Nee (Darnestown, MD) looks to represent her home state well and make her first final of the season. Anna Ifarraguerri (McLean, VA) makes her first World Championship appearance.
While the C2 Men's class features a number of athletes making a return to racing for Team USA, the team of Casey Eichfeld and Devin McEwan (Salisbury, CT) look to break through to the podium after a number of strong results this season. 2012 Olympians Eric "Butter" Hurd (Gastonia, NC) and Jeff Larimer (Atlanta, GA) make their first international start since the 2012 season, as 2008 Olympian Benn Fraker (Atlanta, GA) teams up with Scott McCleskey (Sylva, NC) to take on the world.
For more information, please refer to the links below:
Race Website: https://www.deepcreek2014.com/
Headquartered in Oklahoma City, USA Canoe/Kayak is a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the International Canoe Federation. It governs the Olympic disciplines of Flatwater Sprint, Whitewater Slalom, the Paralympic discipline of Paracanoe and sanctions Freestyle, Marathon, Outrigger, Wildwater, Stand Up Paddle Board, Kayak Polo, Dragon Boat and Canoe Sailing in the United States. For more information about USA Canoe/Kayak, please visit us on the web at www.usack.org on Twitter at @usacanoekayak and Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/USACanoeKayak.