DSC_0750The Nantahala river, Nantahala Outdoor Center and the Nantahala Racing Club have a long history with this esoteric sport and has been the home training ground for some of the sports elite. NOC’s former President, Bunny Jones won a gold medal with employee Mike Hipster in the mixed C2 at the 1981 World Championships in Bala, Wales and that same environment has produced multiple National Champions, National Team Members, World Cup and World Championships level athletes ever since, but these accomplishments are often over shadowed by the rivers Olympic connections.

For me, bringing the World Championships to the Nantahala feels a little like the final chapter in my own wildwater journey. This is where I learned the sport and took the beatings that came with it. It’s where I trained diligently for nearly two decades over which time I have amassed more training and race runs that I care to count. It’s where I prepared for my own efforts on the international World Cup and World Championships stage and it’s also the place where many lasting friendships have been built over lactic induced workouts. It’s also where I will now get to share this incredible place with 140 young athletes from 15 nations around the World.

If you’re interested in watching the Worlds fastest whitewater athletes, come visit the Nantahala and get a ring side seat at Nantahala Falls. Schedule and additional details are at http://nantahala2015.com/

Chris Hipgrave

Event Schedule (Official)

Sunday August 2nd 9:00 – 17:00 Equipment Control by Nations
Monday August 3rd 10:00 – 12:00 Equipment Control By Nations
  13:00 – 14:30 Team Leaders Meeting
  17:00 – 18:30 ICF & Team Leaders Reception
  19:00 – 20:00 Opening Ceremony
Tuesday August 4th 8:30 – 10:25 Individual Classic Race – Juniors
C1M, K1W, K1M, C1W, C2M, C2W
  18:45 – 19:39 Individual Classic Race – Under 23
C1M, K1W, K1M, C1W, C2M, C2W
Wednesday August 5th 9:01 – 10:06 Team Class Race – Juniors
C1M, K1W, K1M, C1W, C2M, C2W
  18:45 – 19:40 Team Class Race – Under 23
C1M, K1W, K1M, C1W, C2M, C2W
Thursday August 6th 8:30 – 10:36 Individual Sprint Race Heats – Junior
C1M, K1W, K1M, C1W, C2M, C2W
  13:00 Medal Ceremony (Classic Races)
  18:45 – 20:16 Individual Sprint Race Heats – Under 23
C1M, K1W, K1M, C1W, C2M, C2W
Friday August 7th 8:30 – 9:26 Individual Sprint Race Final – Junior
C1M, K1W, K1M, C1W, C2M, C2W
  9:35 – 10:29 Individual Sprint Race Final – Under 23
C1M, K1W, K1M, C1W, C2M, C2W
  18:30 – 18:52 Team Sprint Race – Junior
C1M, K1W, K1M, C1W, C2M, C2W
  19:05 – 20:00 Team Sprint Race – Under 23
C1M, K1W, K1M, C1W, C2M, C2W
  21:00 Medal Ceremony (Sprint Races) & Closing Ceremony



The Classic is a little over 4km in length and starts at “Surfing Rapid” and ends at the Founders Bridge at the “Nantahala Outdoor Center,” which is the same finish as the Sprint.There is 8km of easy whitewater above the Classic start allowing for multiple put-ins and plenty of warm-up opportunities.From the start at “Surfing Rapid”, racers will negotiate near continuous class 2 and 3 whitewater, thru rapids named “4 Eddy, Hall of Waves, Gorgarama, the Bump and Nantahala Falls” before finishing at the Nantahala Outdoor Center.The fastest times are expected to be approximately 13 minutes.Safety teams will be setup at all the significant rapids including Nantahala Falls.


The Sprint Course is 450m in length and starts above Nantahala Falls, the single most difficult rapid on the Nantahala River (class 3+). Multiple line options exist and there are plenty of spectator areas lining the banks. After Nantahala Falls there is continuous easy whitewater to the finish at the Founders Bridge in the middle of the Nantahala Outdoor Center campus. Fastest times will be approximately 90 seconds. There will be safety teams below Nantahala Falls.