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Sanctioned Event of the Year Award
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Presented to the top ACA sanctioned event as nominated by the paddling public.

2015 - Penobscot River Whitewater Nationals Regatta


2014 - StreamSweepers

StreamSweepers is a youth training and job corps for college-aged youth in Central Virginia. StreamSweepers perform river health diagnostics and sweep up tires, plastic, glass and any other garbage small enough to get in a canoe. This incredibly popular project was piloted during the summer of 2013 by the Center for Natural Capital in Orange and Madison Counties of Central Virginia. Recently, the StreamSweepers Advisory Board and the Center for Natural Capital‘s Board of Directors approved Virginia river reaches to be swept by StreamSweepers for 2014. Last year, Sweepers completed roughly 20 miles of river from the Greene County line to Rt. 15 near Orange. This year, 20 miles of the Rapidan River, from Rt. 15 to Rt. 522, and 20 miles of the Robinson River, from Rt. 29 to its confluence, will be assessed and swept. This event is overseen by ACA instructor Beth Seale, a Level 2 Essentials of River Kayaking Instructor who is also teaching the youth how to be safe while paddling on the river during their cleanups and other studies. 

2013 - North Fork Championship & Whitewater Festival  North Fork Championships & Whitewater Festival

The 2013 North Fork Championship and Whitewater Festival was sanctioned by the ACA. The North Fork Payette event has strong paddlers, and comes with an even stronger paddling community. The greater Boise area has long attracted and supported those most committed to an active outdoor lifestyle. This community comes together to create the NFC Whitewater Festival. This festival is collectively made up of businesses and friends who have cut their teeth on some of North America’s most pristine natural terrain. Many of the businesses in the region manufacture equipment and gear for most of the recreationalists in all outdoor water sports. The Whitewater Festival invited people to enjoy an eventful weekend and watch some amazing kayaking. Paddlers came from all across the world to compete in the North Fork Championship, and the river seemed to rise to the challenge. The day before the event, the NF Payette came up to a challenging and awesome flow – showing its classic, impressive identity. Mad inspiring times were placed in the Expert Division early Thursday morning. This set the tone for how stiff the competition of the NFC in its second year would be. The endurance and athleticism that were shown throughout the whole event highlighted kayaking as a legitimate extreme sport and not just a past time. The second year confirmed that the NFC is here and it’s here to stay. A huge shout out to this amazing river and all the awesome people that make the NFC happen.We are excited for this event to continue hosting the highest level of competitive kayaking!


French Broad Canoe Racing Inc.2012 - Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver Nationals

This national championship event was held on the Nantahala River in Wesser, NC and was hosted by Tom Blue, William McDuffie, and Lynne McDuffie of French Broad Canoe Racing, Inc. The purpose of the ACA Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver Committee is to encourage, sanction and sponsor amateur competition in ...Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver ... at local, regional, national, and international levels.


2011 - Sanctioned Event of the Year

2011 - Oregon Members Only Backcountry Paddling Excursion with Slickrock Expeditions

Master guide Burt Kornegay of Slickrock Expeditions, based out of western North Carolina, led a varied group of ACA members on one of the 2011 Members-Only Backcountry Paddling Excursions to a remote river in Oregon.  This trip combined tandem canoeing through scenic landscapes, whitewater rapids, great food, and the camaraderie that can only be experienced through a multi-day, self-supported wilderness canoe trip.


2010 - Sanctioned Event of the Year2010 - Camp Cup: Alzar School & Dixie Division

The Camp Cup Challenge is a whitewater paddling event involving numerous summer camps from North Carolina and other states. The Camp Cup Challenge is put on by the Alzar School with the asistance of regional ACA volunteers and hosted by the Nantahala Outdoor Center on the Nantahala River. The event is an opportunity for young paddlers to meet and develop friendships with like-minded youths, and gives kids a venue in which to build a community of active, engaged, and enthusiastic peers. Event highlights include a beginner-friendly slalom race on the Nantahala Bridge Gates as well as a downriver race through Nantahala Falls.


2009 - Sanctioned Event of the Year2009 - Open Canoe Slalom Nationals

This international championship event was held in Wausau, WI and hosted by the great folks at the Wausau Canoe & Kayak Corporation. The purpose of the ACA Open Canoe Slalom Committee is: to encourage, sanction and sponsor amateur competition in "whitewater open canoe” slalom at local, regional, national, and international levels.



2008 - Sanctioned Event of the Year2008 - Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver Nationals

This national championship event was held on section IX of the French Broad River in Hot Springs, NC and was hosted by Tom Blue and French Broad Canoe Racing, Inc.  The purpose of the ACA Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver Committee is to encourage, sanction and sponsor amateur competition in ...Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver ... at local, regional, national, and international levels.


2007 - Sanctioned Event of the Year2007 - Teva Mountain Games

The Teva Mountain Games are one of the country's largest celebrations of adventure sports, music, and the mountain lifestyle. Professional and amateur outdoor adventure athletes from around the world converge upon the mountains and rivers of Vail to compete in eight sports and 23 disciplines including: x-country, freeride, slopestyle and road cycling, freestyle, 8-Ball, sprint and extreme kayaking, raft cross, World Cup Bouldering, stand up paddle sprint and surf cross, as well as trail, mud and road running, dog comps and the Ultimate Mountain Challenge.  In addition to the athletic events, the Teva Mountain Games include a mountain photography competition, adventure film school, film festival, an interactive exhibition and demo area, live music, and mountain lifestyle parties. The Teva Mountain Games are a project of the Vail Valley Foundation.


2005 - Sanctioned Event of the Year2005 - Two Harbors Kayak Festival

Two Harbors Kayak Festival offers four separate kayak races: Youth Races, Emma Challenge Tandem Sprints, Betty's Pies 5 Mile race, and finally the Great River Energy Kayak & Canoe Marathon, all with various age groups and boat categories. In addition to the four races there are local exhibitors, kayak & outrigger equipment demos, stand up paddle boarding demos & classes, beginning level instructional tours, kids kayaking, treasure hunt and climbing wall, live music, food, fun, and more!  There is something for everyone at this one of a kind paddling festival. The racing portion of the THKF has grown steadily and is the oldest and largest open water race on the Great Lakes. It is well known for its challenging course, stunning scenery and its superb organization. Some great rivalries, stories and friendships have evolved over the years.


2004 - Sanctioned Event of the Year2004 - Ohio RiverWay PaddleFest

Cincinnati is the paddling capital of the United States and the Ohio River Way Paddlefest is the largest canoe/kayak paddling event in the Midwest with over 2,200 paddlers making their annual trek down the Ohio river during Paddlefest. It is a celebration dedicated to enjoying the experience of "paddling the Ohio River” one of Cincinnati's greatest natural assets that sits right in our own back yard. Paddlefest is a fun filled family event designed to bring people together to paddle, enjoy the outdoors, listen to great local music and much more for the whole family.



2003 - Sanctioned Event of the Year2003 - Ohio Adaptive Paddling Workshop

The Ohio Adaptive Paddling Workshop (APW) is the longest continually running APW in the county. This four day workshop is a great way to learn how to outfit canoes and kayaks for people with disabilities and is an endorsement for any ACA instructor but you do not have to be an instructor to participate in the workshop.  This program is run through the hard work and volunteerism of ACA Instructors, Trainers and local sponsors. 


2003 - Sanctioned Event of the Year2003 - 33rd ICF Flatwater Racing World Championships

The 2003 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships were held September 10–14, 2003 in Gainesville, Georgia, United States at Lake Lanier. Located north of Atlanta, this was also where the canoe sprint and rowing events for the 1996 Summer Olympics took place. The men's competition consisted of nine Canadian (single paddle, open boat) and nine kayak events. Women competed in nine events, all in kayak. This was the 33rd championships in canoe sprint. This event was also the first time women's Canoe exhibition events were offered at the Flatwater Racing World Championships.  The ACA was a sponsor of this ICF event.


2002 - Sanctioned Event of the Year2002 - Midwest Freestyle Symposium

Welcome to the Midwest FreeStyle Symposium! The MFS offers excellent instruction in a quiet water venue for people wishing to improve paddling and precise boat control skills. Courses are offered in all skill levels and are taught by ACA certified instructors. Student/instructor ratio is limited to 5 to 1. We are located in the scenic Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and can provide info on activities such as hiking, biking, historic tours, shopping, etc. for non-paddling friends or spouses upon request. The event also hosts the National Interpretive Freestyle Canoe Championships.


2001 - Sanctioned Event of the Year2001 - East Coast Canoe & Kayak Festival

Come out to James Island County Park and immerse yourself in a full weekend of the history, technique, hands-on experience, and fun of canoeing and kayaking. The East Coast Canoe & Kayak Festival includes lectures, on-water classes, and demonstrations directed to the novice and the experienced paddler. The heart of the festival is four classrooms run simultaneously throughout the three-day event. Refine your skills in a master class presented by many of the leading experts in the paddling world. Learn new strokes, rescues, or rolls with expert instruction and meet other knowledgeable paddlesport enthusiasts. Dozens of commercial exhibitors will be on-hand to give you a chance to try before you buy. At the East Coast Canoe & Kayak Festival, you will be able to test boats, paddles, and accessories on the water at the festival site. You will also have the opportunity to speak with equipment designers and manufacturers throughout the weekend.


2000 - Round Valley Roundup


1999 - Round the Island


WWOCD Nationals1998 - Whitewater Open Canoe Nationals

The purpose of the ACA Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver Committee is to encourage, sanction and sponsor amateur competition in ...Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver ... at local, regional, national, and international levels.



Photo Courtesy of Landmark Learning1998 - Western Carolina Rescue Rodeo

Organized by Chris Bell, teams from throughout the Southeast and beyond participated in six judged events: a rope throw for speed, accuracy and technique;a self rescue incorporating a roll and a swim in class II water;an equipment roundup in which teams race to recover equipment dropped into class II water; a team rescue in class II water; a rescue scenario in which the team encounters a victim of a common river accident playing a scripted role; and a first aid scenario in which the team demonstrates their mastery of skills similar to those taught in Red Cross CPR and Advanced First Aid classes. Though nominally a competition, the competitive aspect of the rodeo is friendly and low-key. The event concluded with a barbecue dinner and raffle.  A range of ACA certified Swiftwater Rescue Instructors and Trainers assisted with this event.

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