The Nelson Area Paddlers
The Nelson Downriver
2003 Canoe and Kayak Race Results

The 2003 race was held on the Tye river. Paddlers put-in on the Tye about 2 miles downstream from Tye River Depot. They paddled 7 miles to a point 100 yards upstream of the confluence with Rucker Run.
Many thanks to Sue and Ethan Saliba for allowing us to use their property on the Tye River.

On This Page
Race ResultsNews and CommentaryAcknowledgementsParticipation Counts

Saturday, May 3, 2003
OC1 Male
1. Kirk Havens1:24:46*
1. Conny Roussos1:26:25
2. Kevin Shifflett1:30:00
3. Dave Thomas1:32:11
4. H. Schlimmer1:34:53
5. Billy Orme1:38:01
6. Phil Welker1:39:40
7. Dave Howard1:41:10
*Paddled a Kevlar Formula-14 class canoe
OC2 Female
1. Joanne White & Anne PayneX:XX:XX
OC2 Male
1. Bob Davis & Larry Lubbers1:22:18
2. Greg Grant & John Proffit1:27:35
3. Scott Francis & Gary Smith1:34:34
4. H.C. Phillips & S. Henderson1:40:59
5. Tim Lewis & R. Firehock2:27:29
OC2 Father/Son
1. Dan Barto & Phillip Barto1:45:50
2. Don Francis & Mike Hannon1:47:28
OC2 Mixed
1. Karla Havens & Ed Sharp1:22:12
2. Conny Roussos & Gail Roussos1:39:06
3. James Luther & Denise Mull2:01:42
4. G. Cobak & T. Coffey2:08:49
K1 Female
1. Nikki Chambers1:37:24
2. Carol Tucker1:45:45
3. Karen Firehock2:25:38
K1 Male under 45
1. Dave Perault1:29:28
2. Ed Demasters1:31:26
3. Andrew Quada1:38:30
4. K. Davis1:43:02
5. Jimmy Roux1:51:45
K1 Male over 45
1. Ron Tucker1:31:17
2. Ron Ashmore1:44:19
3. Jimbo Carey2:02:07
K1 Youth
1. Drew Tucker1:33:08
2. Dan Tucker2:02:24

OC1Open Canoe, 1 paddler
OC2Open Canoe, 2 paddlers
Mixed1 male & 1 female
K1Kayak, 1 paddler
K2Kayak, 2 paddlers

The Outstanding Paddler Award for 2003 - Nikki Chambers

Outstanding Paddler Ceremony
The Nelson Downriver Race is held annually on the first Saturday of May. The winner of the prestigious Outstanding Paddler Award this year is Nikki Chambers, the first woman kayaker to win the award. Each year the name of the award winner is incribed onto a brass plate that is placed onto a paddle displayed in the Nelson County, VA visitor's center. An additional wooden paddle was inscribed and given to the winner of the award at the culmination of the awards ceremony.

National Champs
This years race featured five perrenial national champions and two one-time national champions. Kirk Havens, his wife, Karla Havens, Bob Davis, Larry Lubbers and Ed Sharp regularly compete nationally and often win first place in their divisions. Dave Thomas and Conny Roussos won the national OC2 over-50 years of age division title in 1998.

Paddling Tip
Years ago bent-shaft paddles were simply the result of an unfortunate mishap and discarded. Later, they were manufactured and introduced by Jensen originally only for sit-down, flat-water racing. The bent-shaft causes the paddle blade to remain more vertical in the water for a longer portion of the stroke, thus achieving greater power and speed on each stroke. Now bent-shaft paddles are solidly in the domain of whitewater racing canoeists. Downriver racers need to carefully select the length of the paddle to match their height, arm-length and paddling position. Paddling positions seem to be personal and controversial and include, sit-down, kneel-down, kneel-up and high-kneel (one knee, one side paddling).

Race Photos
Once again this year many paddlers will receive action photos of their participation thanks to Vernon Powell, local canoeing guide and event photographer. Supplementing our photo display for the website, Kevin Shifflet has contributed numerous photos of racers negotiating "rock-pile" rapid.

Thanks again to Ethan and Sue Saliba for their generosity in allowing us all to use their riverfront property.

Support Personnel And Other Information
Nancy Welker, Phil Welker and Gail Roussos

Race Judges:
Phil Welker (Head judge), Conny Roussos, Dave Thomas, Dave Perault & Tom Eick

Race Committee:
Phil Welker (Chair), Conny Roussos, Sue Saliba, Kevin Shifflett, Ron Ashemore, Dave Thomas, Dave Perault and Tom Eick

Safety Boats:
Kevin Shifflett, Tom Eick, Dave Perault and Vernon Powell

Vernon Powell, Kevin Shifflett

Phil Welker, Conny Roussos

Timers and Statisticians:
Phil and Nancy Welker, Tom Eick

Food Preparation:
Nancy Welker, Gail Roussos, Dave Thomas & Volunteers too numerous to mention.

Preparation of Award Paddle:
Dave Thomas

44 paddlers and 33 boats

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