The Nelson Area Paddlers
The Nelson Downriver
2014 Canoe and Kayak Race
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.
The 2014 Nelson Downriver Race was cancelled due to high water.
No decision has been made at this time regarding rescheduling.
Date: May 3, 2014
High Temp: approximately 74 degrees
Conditions: Partly Cloudy
River Levels: 755 cfs, (sum of Tye  and Piney  gages several miles upstream), Tye stage=4.62', Piney stage=3.4'
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.
- Construction Material
- Other design Factors
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 www.acanet.org/ocdownriver/drrules.htm
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.
Nelson County Parks and Recreation
Roseland Rescue Squad (on Facebook)
The Ski Barn - Nellysford, Va.
Rockfish Gap Outfitters - Waynesboro, Va.
Blue Ridge Mountain Sports - Charlottesville, Va.
Stoney Creek Auto Center - Nellysford, Va.
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