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2013 Conference Highlights

2013 SWR ConferenceLocation: Dillsboro, NC

Venue: Tuckaseegee River


  • Les Bechdel
  • Charlie Walbridge
  • Slim Ray
  • Mike Mather
  • Jim Coffey
  • Walter Felton
  • Aaron Peeler
  • Justin Padgett
  • Will Leverette
  • Sam Fowlkes
  • Robin Pope
  • Dave Kessman
  • Tom Burroughs
  • Fritz Orr
  • Virgil Chambers
  • Pam Dillon  


  • The prestigious Higgins & Langley Memorial Fund presented Robin Pope & Sam Fowlkes with their Special Commendation Award for founding this SWR Conference.
Special Events:


  • Conference Program (PDF
  • Awards Ceremony & Banquet
  • Keynote Presentation - The History of River Rescue 
  • Conference Video (Vimeo)


  • Over 100 Members, Paddlers, Instructors & Rescue Professionals 
  • 22 States Represented
  • 3 Countries: Canada, United States & Germany

 Instructor Updates in:

  • Level 4: Swiftwater Rescue
  • Level 5: Advanced Swiftwater Rescue



"What an absolute pleasure to spend time with such a talented group of like minded people exchanging ideas and techniques. The beauty of this event was it built the personal connections that will allow us to push the SWR segment of our sport to the next level."


"I was honored to be part of it as well! What a cool bookmark in history."


"It was an absolute honor to have the opportunity to be part of such an amazing event. I am still amazed at how smoothly the ACA staff handled the movement of so many folks from site to site!! As has already been stated by others, having the opportunity to put faces to names, and actually spend time in person with all of you has immense value. Meeting and sharing ideas and techniques is so important and this venue really lent itself well to that."


"It was a tremendous event and I enjoyed meeting new guys and seeing old friends once again."


"I suppose all the platitudes have been expressed about the extraordinary event that was a couple of weekends ago. I can't recall ever having been involved with an event that so encompasses virtually everything that my entire professional life has been all about as this one was. The level and quality of instruction was certainly exemplary of everything I could ever expect from so distinguished, experienced and knowledgeable a group of experts."


"I am still buzzing from this past weekend. I know it has all been said already but what an amazing event on all levels. From the preparation and execution to the presenters and the participants I am humbled by how lucky I am to have played a part in it.  Most of all the people who I only knew buy name as being the leaders and creators of the field of expertise I am so passionate about I can now call friends!"



more Event Calendar

The 40th Great Rappahannock Whitewater Canoe Race

ACA Mission

Founded in 1880, The American Canoe Association (ACA) is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling, stewardship support to help protect paddling environments, and sanctioning of programs and events to promote paddlesport competition, exploration, and recreation.

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