The Nelson Area Paddlers
The Nelson Downriver
2011 Canoe and Kayak Race Results

Location: Tye River, Nelson County, VA.
Course: Put-in on the Tye River about 2 miles downstream of the community of Tye River Depot. Take-out on the Tye about 2 miles upstream from the confluence of the Tye and James rivers.
Many thanks to Sue and Ethan Saliba for allowing us to use their property on the Tye River.

Vital Statistics:
Date: May 7, 2011
High Temp: approximately 74 degrees
Conditions: Partly Sunny
Participation: 63 paddlers and 48 boats (including non-racing participants brings the total to 84 persons)
River Levels: 370 cfs, (sum of Tye and Piney gages several miles upstream), Tye stage=3.9', Piney stage=2.9'

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On This Page
Race Results
News and Commentary
Participation Counts

JoAnn keeps the boat upright in spite of her partner's reputation for dumping partners!
OC1Open Canoe, 1 paddler
OC2Open Canoe, 2 paddlers
Mixed1 male & 1 female
K1Kayak, 1 paddler
K2Kayak, 2 paddlers
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Solo Canoe
OC1 Male (Advanced)
1. Tom Brubach1:21:31
2. Conny Roussos1:23:14
3. Mike Robinson1:24:03
OC1 Male
1. Lee Williams1:23:59
OC1 Male Masters
1. Herman Schlimmer1:29:17
2. Mark Cerny1:32:17
OC1 Male Veteran (over 70)
1. Dave Thomas1:24:06
OC1 Male Stubby Canoe
1. V. R. Shackleford1:38:35
OC1 Poled Canoe
1. Matt Swift1:32:03
OC2 Male Advanced
1. Larry Lubbers & Bob Davis1:13:16
2. Ed Sharp & Kirk Havens1:13:29
OC2 Male Masters
1. Kevin Shifflett & Dave Howard1:19:23
OC2 Male
1. Paul Mamros & David Duncan1:47:20
OC2 Father/Son
1. Greg and Zachary Grant1:25:51
2. Daniel and Paul Clemmer1:27:48
OC2 Mixed
1. Natalie and John Deboer1:23:44
2. Vicki and David Kahler1:51:42
OC2 Father/Daughter
1. Devon and Alaina Lively1:35:20
2. Chris and Sarah Dickens1:46:07
OC2 Mother/Son
1. Karla and Kade Havens1:23:29
OC3 Father/Mother/Son
1. Ethan, Sue and Sami Saliba1:40:15
K2 Tandem Kayak
1. Joyce and Clark Scott1:38:08
2. Kade and Todd Sorenson2:59:25
Solo Kayak
K1 Junior
1. Seth Lively1:35:26
2. Carter Graham2:02:05
K1 Female (under 45)
1. Brandi Van Matre1:34:30
2. Melissa Graham2:02:04
3. Heather Sorenson3:00:20
K1 Female Masters (45+)
1. Nancy Ronald1:41:12
2. Carol Tucker1:44:21
3. Karen Firehock2:02:28
K1 Male (under 45)
1. Dave Perault1:20:14
K1 Male Masters (45+) Advanced
1. Glen Chalkey1:20:04
2. Ron Tucker1:20:44
3. Ron Hartshorn1:28:44
K1 Male Masters (45+)
1. Scott Keaton1:21:20
2. Ed DeMasters1:23:27
3. Sam Keaton1:24:09
4. Jack Muhler2:08:09
5. Ron Soltan2:09:16
K1 Male Downriver
1. Dave Dolak1:18:12
K1 Male Masters Downriver
1. Tom Eick1:09:46
2. Rick Barnette1:17:44
3. Marek Payerin1:17:47
K1 Male Sit-On-Top
1. Jon Brandt1:45:44
2. Tim Lewis2:01:26
3. Richard Elder2:07:29

The Outstanding Paddler Award for 2011 goes to the tandem crew of Kevin Shifflett and Dave Howard.

Dave Thomas presents the award to Dave Howard. Kevin is not pictured above as he rushed off to children's soccer matches after the race.

Outstanding Paddler Award
The Outstanding Paddler is awarded to the paddler who, in the opinion of our panel of race judges, has the best performance. Age, gender, boat type and other factors are taken into consideration in making this award.

Each year the name of the award winner(s) is inscribed onto a brass plate that is mounted onto a ceremonial paddle displayed in the Nelson Center in Lovingston, VA. An additional wooden paddle is inscribed and given to the winner(s) of the award at the culmination of the awards ceremony.

The Nelson Downriver Race is held annually, normally on the first Saturday of May. Normally, the entire race is on the Tye river but due to low water conditions the race may be moved downstream.

National Champs
This year's participants included 9 national whitewater downriver racing champions.
(See for information on the Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver National Championships.)

Canoe and Kayak Racing Categories
Canoe and Kayak Racing Categories are almost too numerous to mention. Boats may be separated into different classes based upon many criteria including the following The reason for the distinctions (different classes) is that it is very difficult to judge the comparative paddling abilities of individuals when they are paddling different kinds of boats. The longer, lighter and more narrow a boat is the faster it tends to be.
Unfortunately, in many races there are not enough participating craft to divide them into proper classes. In fact, in some events, notably many triathlons, no distinction is made whatsoever. Obviously some attempt should be made to create classes of comparable boats whenever possible. A short, broad kayak designed for fishing in a pond is certainly no match for an Olympic racing canoe, so narrow (and fast) that only highly trained paddlers can stay upright for more than a few seconds.

Probably the easiest and most useful distinction is that used at the National Downriver Whitewater Recreational Canoe Championships sponsored by the American Canoe Association. Boats that compete there are divided into 2 classes referred to as formula 16 and formula 14 (or sometimes as 16% and 14%).
Formula 16 boats must be made of plastic (vinyl/ABS, polyethylene, etc). or aluminum or wood/canvas. Additionally, the ratio of the width of the boat mesasured at the 4 inch waterline to the length of the boat may not be less than 16%. These must be (or must have been) commercially available boats. Some modifications such as the inclusion of a limited amount of additional flotation may be made. However, allowed modifications are very restrictive.

The formula 14 category is designed for faster boats. These boats may be constructed of other lighter materials such as fiberglass, kevlar, woodstrips, graphite and carbon fiber. The ratio of the width at the 4 inch waterline to the length may not be less than 14.375% for formula 14 boats.

To see the full specifications for formula 16 and formula 14 canoe racing connect to

Discriminating between kayaks is even more difficult than for canoes. Kayaks may be divided due to material (plastic or fiberglass) or length. Three meters is the traditional dividing line although the length appears to be increasing in recent years. The shape of the kayak may also be considered. For example, the width to length ratio, as with canoes, has a significant impact on hull speed.

Race Photos
Reduced resolution photos of most paddlers are displayed on this website. Conny Roussos and Emily Harper, Director of Nelson Co. Parks and Rec. shared in the photography duties this year.
Those who wish a CD of full-resolution race photos may purchase one by sending a check for $10.00 to
Conny Roussos
245 Cabell Mt Ln
Arrington, VA 22922
(be sure to include your return address)

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

Support Personnel
Esther Larkin, Emily Harper, Jim Troy, Gail Troy, Tiffany Dodd, Helene Richards

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

Race Committee:
Phil Welker (Chair), Conny Roussos, Dave Thomas, Dave Perault and Tom Eick

Safety Boats:
Tom Eick, Conny Roussos and Dave Perault

Emily Harper, D. DeMasters and Conny Roussos

Phil Welker, Tom Eick, Dave Thomas

Timers and Statisticians:
Phil Welker, Nancy Welker, Jim Troy, Gail Troy, Allison Love

Food Preparation:
Ronnie Tucker and Dave Thomas.

Emily Harper, Tom Eick

T-Shirt Design
Phil Welker

Race Medallions and T-Shirts order
Emily Harper

Preparation of Award Paddles:
Dave Thomas

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