The Nelson Area Paddlers
The Nelson Downriver
2012 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 5, 2012
High Temp: approximately 72 degrees
Conditions: Overcast
Participation: 32 paddlers and 27 boats (including non-paddling participants brings the total to 50 persons)
River Levels: 169 cfs, (sum of Tye and Piney gages several miles upstream), Tye stage=3.31', Piney stage=2.48'

Please notify if you see any errors such as name misspellings, incorrect times, etc. or have other comments/suggestions
On This Page
Race Results
News and Commentary
Participation Counts

Mike Robinson opens a lead while competitors wait at the starting line.
photo copyright - Paul Purpura
OC1Open Canoe, 1 paddler
OC2Open Canoe, 2 paddlers
Mixed1 male & 1 female
K1Kayak, 1 paddler
K2Kayak, 2 paddlers
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Solo Canoe
OC1 Male (Advanced)
1. Conny Roussos1:28:53
2. Mike Robinson1:34:54
3. Tom Brubach1:35:56
OC1 Male
1. Lee Williams1:36:38
OC1 Male Masters
1. Ronnie Tucker1:34:27
2. Peyton Coyner2:04:20
OC1 Male Veteran (over 70)
1. Dave Thomas1:40:00
OC1 Male Stubby Canoe
1. Shack Shackleford1:52:51
OC2 Male Advanced
1. Ed Sharp & Kirk Havens1:23:56
2. Kevin Shifflett & Dave Howard1:30:59
OC2 Father/Son
1. Greg and Zachary Grant1:39:29
OC2 Father/Daughter
1. Shannon and Violet Tillman1:47:45
2. Chris and Sarah Dickens2:01:37
Solo Kayak
K1 Female Sit-On-Top
1. Carol Tucker1:48:37
K1 Male
1. Dave Perault1:33:59
K1 Male Masters (45+)
1. David Gunn1:29:55
2. Scott Keaton1:37:27
K1 Male Downriver
1. Tom Eick1:17:28
2. Dave Dolak1:24:36
K1 Stubby
1. Roger Ritenour1:52:13
K1 non-racing
Richard Elder
Jack Muhler

The Outstanding Paddler Award for 2012 goes to the tandem crew of Greg and Zachary Grant.

Dave Thomas presented the award to Greg and Zach Grant.

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 5 ACA 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.
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..

Nelson County Parks and Recreation

Roseland Rescue Squad (on Facebook)

The Ski Barn - Nellysford, Va.

Rockfish Gap Outfitters - Waynesboro, Va.

Stoney Creek Auto Center - Nellysford, Va.

Support Personnel
Gail Roussos, Esther Larkin, Kathy Hilliard, Ginny Newton, Helene Richards

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

Safety Boats:
Tom Eick, Conny Roussos and Dave Perault

Emily Harper, Ginny Newton, Paul Purpura and Conny Roussos

Phil Welker, Tom Eick, Dave Thomas and Damon Roussos

Timers and Statisticians:
Phil Welker, Nancy Welker, Jim Troy, Gail Troy, Judy Parish, Allison Love and Sandy Brown

Food Preparation:
Ronnie Tucker, Ginny Newton and Pierre Constans

Emily Harper, Tom Eick

T-Shirt Design
Emily Harper and Conny Roussos

Race Medallions and T-Shirts order
Emily Harper

Preparation of Award Paddles:
Dave Thomas

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