Courtesy John Pinyerd
USA Canoe Kayak Wildwater Committee Chairman


July 5 2004


In a bizarre twist to the 2004 World Cup Races, the Swiss organizers at Muothatal elected to move World Cup 6 (Sprint Race) from the rain swollen river to safer surroundings. In complete disregard to ICF rules (requiring Class III whitewater) and to the shock of the competitors, they choose an 8 foot wide canal! It was too much for some of the competitors. Eight-time World beater, and perhaps the greatest canoeist ever, Vladi Panato forfeited the race and his shot at winning the World Cups. Vladi just shook his head in disgust and refused to paddle the class ZERO canal. In spite of the odd twist, USA gave our best shot and finished well.

Overall, we had a very good season at the 2004 World Cups. Our men's kayak class was very solid and we have several rapidly rising stars.  In his first year of racing at the senior level, Geoff Calhoun (a junior) finished the World Cups as the fastest USA K-1 and in 35th place overall. We are excited about Geoff's potential to do very well at this year's Junior Worlds.

Middy Tilghman's training in France this year paid huge dividends, as he typically split honors with Geoff as America's fastest K-1 in the World Cups and finished 37th overall. Middy was our top K-1 at the Garmisch World Championships. Veteran athlete, coach, and Wildwater Board Member, Chris Hipgrave was sick during the World Cups but still finished well at  41th place overall. Lincoln Williams has successfully made the switch from slalom to Wildwater and finished 42nd overall.

In the C-1 Class, Tom Wier continued to show why he is America's top C-1. Tom finished 19th overall in World Cups. We are also excited about huge improvement the Mike Beck has made this year and his 36th place finished.

In Woman's K-1, Kristen Beck finished 25th overall and Anne Connelly finished 26th.

Rank Athlete Nation Time
1 WOHLERS Florian GER 11:33.26
2 MRUZEK Kamil CZE 11:36.47
3 MARIE Guillaume FRA 11:36.73
36 TILGHMAN Middy USA 12:31.41
38 CALHOUN Geoff USA 12:36.57
44 HIPGRAVE Chris USA 12:45.41
47 WILLIAMS Lincoln USA 14:29.54
1 PANATO Vladi ITA 12:13.54
2 HOHNJEC Tomislav CRO 12:16.58
3 LEPAN Tomislav CRO 12:17.99
20 WIER Tom USA 13:27.50

Place Athlete Nation Total
1 SLOVAK Tomas CZE 02:37.98
2 HYBOIS Arnaud FRA 02:40.63
3 KNEBEL David CZE 02:42.45
36 CALHOUN Geoff USA 02:57.95
40 TILGHMAN Middy USA 02:59.31
43 HIPGRAVE Chris USA 03:03.48
46 WILLIAMS Lincoln USA 03:32.00
1 LEPAN Tomislav CRO 03:11.02
2 HOHNJEC Tomislav CRO 03:11.18
3 GOJIC Igor CRO 03:11.66
17 WIER Tom USA 03:29.97


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JUNE 5-6 2004, TEPLA RIVER, KARLOVY VARY, CZECH REPUBLIC - It was a weekend of upsets as the Czech Republic did extremely well in Wildwater World Cups III-IV on their home course.

USA Wildwater did very well overall against the best in the World on their home courses. Four of our racers were close to the 10% (back, off the leader) mark. Geoff Calhoun's (who is still a Junior) improvement over the past year has been amazing. If his progress continues, he will be the top USA K-1 and a potential powerhouse in international wildwater competition.  (update added: I've got bad news and I've great news. First the bad news.... yours truly is not the best little cutter and paster that you've ever met and I accidentally left Lincoln Williams off of the results. Here's the good news.... Lincoln was buried away in the middle of the results. That's right! In his first year of wildwater racing, Lincoln made the Wildwater Team and is beating some Euros...... which is something that I'd love for everyone to start thinking about for next year.)

Kristen Beck (who finished 22nd in both races) reports that "the races were very fun and exciting and we all had a great time. Although Geoff made the races look easy, the river held a few surprises. Ann Connelly (USA Team) was a star. She flipped in the last sprint and got back in her boat in the middle of the current and finished the race, earning the respect of everyone."

We are very proud our team. Please see the abbreviated results are below. Complete results of World Cup III and IV can be viewed at:  http://www.kanoemattoni.cz/article_en.php?id=11

Classic Race -  K-1
1. MRÚZEK Kamil CZE 19:55.37
2. SLOVÁK Tomáš CZE 20:01.19
3. KNEBEL Robert CZE 20:07.81
36. TILGHMAN Middy USA 22:17.04
37. CALHOUN Geoff USA 22:27.88
39. HIPGRAVE Chris USA 22:37.30

42. WILLIAMS Lincoln USA 26:07.80

Classic Race - K-1W
1. STRNADOVÁ Michala CZE 21:36.70
2. EICHENBERGER Sabine SUI 21:46.95
3. HEIDRICH Alexandra GER 21:48.66
22. BECK Kristen USA 29:54.96
23. CONNELLY Anne USA 40:18.27

Classic Race - C1
1. STIEFENHFER Stefan GER 22:24.31
2. HOHNJEC Tomislav CRO 22:33.01
3. LEPAN Tomislav CRO 22:45.88
25. WIER Tom USA 25:03.87
29. BECK Mike USA 26:46.28

Sprint Race -  K-1
1. MERCATI Carlo ITA 3:30.40
2. WOHLERS Florian GER 3:30.91
3. SLOVÁK Tomáš CZE 3:31.00
30. CALHOUN Geoff USA 3:53.90
32. TILGHMAN Middy USA 3:54.37
34. HIPGRAVE Chris USA 3:59.61

38. WILLIAMS Lincoln USA 4:43.66

Sprint Race -  K-1W
1. STRNADOVÁ Michala CZE 3:50.07 
2. EICHENBERGER Sabine SUI 3:54.32
22. BECK Kristen USA 5:22.89
23. CONNELLY Anne USA 6:27.23

Sprint Race -  C-1
1. HOHNJEC Tomislav  CRO 4:04.78
2. PANATO Vladi Carlo ITA 4:07.11
3. LEPAN Tomislav CRO 4:07.66
21. WIER Tom USA 4:27.68
25. BECK Mike USA 4:47.36


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There are some great legendary stories about racing on the Soca River in Northwest Slovenia. The beauty of the area is very reminiscent of Jackson Hole, WY. At the upper reaches of the race course, the river starts off a a beautiful class II. The Soca gradually builds in difficulty until you reach a boulder strewn canyon with 3 minutes of class IV mayhem. This year, the USA Wildwater Team is making their own legends by beating some of the very best racers in the world.

Detailed results can be viewed at: http://www.timing-mojstrana.com/rezultatiB.htm
Follow the English version links for Wildwater World Cup I and Wildwater World Cup II.

Abbreviated results are below:

K1 MEN - Wildwater (Distance) Classic                             
1    Mružek Kamil         CZE    9:36.32             
2    Pontarollo Robert    ITA      9:41.88     +5.56   
3    Wohlers Florian      GER    9:44.28     +7.96  
34  Tilghman Middy      USA   10:30.58    +54.26
37  Calhoun Geoff        USA   10:34.19     +57.87 
C1 MEN  - Wildwater (Distance) Classic                            
1   Hohnjec Tomislav  CRO   10:21.02              
2   Panato Vladi         ITA     10:26.33    + 5.31   
3   Lepan Tomislav     CRO   10:27.66    + 6.64
20  Wier Tom            USA    11:30.35    +1:09.33

K-1 MEN Wildwater Sprint                              
1    Mružek Kamil         CZE    1:43.46  (3)    1:43.49  (2)    Total: 3:26.95
2    Pontarollo Robert    ITA    1:42.95  (2)    1:44.66  (5)      Total: 3:27.61
3    Schofield Jonathan  GBR    1:43.86  (4)    1:44.01  (3)    Total: 3:27.87
28  Calhoun Geoff        USA    1:52.39 (29)    1:50.75 (25)    Total: 3:43.14
41  39 Tilghman Middy  USA    2:01.04 (45)    1:53.59 (33)   Total: 3:54.63

C1 MEN Wildwater Sprint                              
1   Panato Vladi         ITA    1:50.86  (1)    1:53.05  (2)       Total: 3:43.91              
2   Hohnjec Tomislav     CRO    1:52.67  (2)    1:53.46  (3)  Total: 3:46.13   
3   Lepan Tomislav       CRO    1:54.26  (4)    1:52.61  (1)   Total: 3:46.87
17 Wier Tom             USA    2:03.46 (17)    2:06.31 (16)    Total: 4:09.77     

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