The 2014 Canoe Slalom World Championships will take place at the Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI) whitewater course September 16-21, 2014 designed by MWDG in McHenry, MD USA. The International Canoe Federation (ICF) announced this award following its April 15 spring board meeting in Paris. ASCI’s “Deep Creek 2014: ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships” bid over competing entries from Vienna, Austria, and Krakow, Poland.
This event will mark the 25th anniversary of the Slalom World Championships held on the Savage River in Garrett County, western Maryland. The event will return world championship whitewater canoe and kayak slalom racing to the United States for the first time since the 1989 event.
This is the second MWDG venue to receive a Worlds nod in two years. The 2013 Freestyle World Championships will take place at an improved river site on the Nantahala River, for which surveying and initial design by MWDG and local partners’ work has begun.
Letters of support were submitted from U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Senator George Edwards, Delegate Wendell Beitzell, Maryland Sports marketing director Terry Hasseltine, the Garrett County commissioners, Garrett County Chamber of Commerce president Nicole Christian, Wisp Resort owner Karen Myers, and Garrett College president Richard MacLennan.
“The 2014 World Slalom Championship is a transformative sporting event for Garrett County that will place the county on a national and international stage over the next several years,” said Garrett County Commissioner Crawford, who accompanied Taylor to France this week to submit ASCI’s bid. “This momentous event reinforces the vision for ASCI, as well as allows Garrett County to showcase our region and other outdoor recreation activities. It will allow us to forge new relationships and opportunities with the competitive paddle-sport community that includes out-rigger canoe racing, dragon boat racing, marathon canoe racing, and sprint canoe, which is an Olympic discipline.”
He continued, “The county and state benefited economically from media coverage of the 1989 WorldChampionship, and I’m confident that the 2014 World Slalom Championship will provide economic opportunities leading up to the event that will carry over beyond 2014. I’m excited and supportive of the possibilities that this event creates.” The 1989 Worlds attracted more than 600 competitors representing 26 nations. More than 40,000 spectators attended racing events and the opening ceremonies. ASCI’s Deep Creek 2014 bid was submitted at the end of February and was reviewed in March by the ICF Slalom Committee. It received high marks by the committee and was formally accepted as the recommended bid, but the committee members stressed the need for a high-level delegation to make a personal presentation of the bid at the Paris board meeting. The presentation was given by Joe Jacobi, CEO of U.S.A. Canoe/Kayak; Commissioner Crawford; Taylor; and Suzanne Nicolas, ASCI’s event coordinator.
A formal announcement of Deep Creek 2014’s winning bid was broadcast live over European news networks the evening of April 15. Taylor said that the ASCI presentation received high compliments.
“And many ICF officials, as well as bidding groups from other countries, commented on how excited they were to see a return of the Worlds to the United States,” he said.Maryland will kick off Deep Creek 2014 as part of the state’s Star Spangled 200 celebration (Sept. 9-12, 2014),which marks the key turning point in the War of 1812 and the Battle of Baltimore when Francis Scott Key penned the words to the “Star Spangled Banner.” A flag relay will travel on water and land from Fort McHenry to the town of McHenry. The relay will include a canoe paddle on the Potomac River and C&O Canal, bringing the ICF flag and other historic flags to the opening ceremony in Garrett County on Tuesday, September 16, 2014.
The ICF has scheduled a technical visit for May 13-16 to tour ASCI and Garrett County, and to meet the host organizing and advisory committees. Jean Michel Prono, chair of the ICF Slalom Committee and one of France’s most celebrated canoe and kayak coaches, will be leading the ICF team, and will be joined by ICF Slalom committee member Eric Lokken of Durango, Colo. Prono was a coach during the 1989 Worlds, who told Taylor that he “remembers Garrett County fondly.”
Also planning to participate in the technical visit will be CEO Jacobi, who is also a 1992 Olympic gold medalist; Bill Endicott, 1992 Olympic head coach and U.S. head coach during 1989 Worlds; Dana Chladek, two-time Olympic silver medalist and silver medalist from the 1989 Worlds; Bob Campbell, 2000 Olympic coach and manager; Mike Knopp, USA Canoe/Kayak board member and executive director of the Oklahoma City BoathouseFoundation; and Maryland’s sports marketing director Hasseltine.
ASCI’s 2011 whitewater season will start on May 14 with regular guided whitewater rafting. In addition to the guided whitewater rafting, the ICF will also see technical canoe and kayak demonstrations provided by members of the U.S. Olympic and Junior National teams. Most of the athletes will be visiting from the two main U.S. slalom training centers in Bethesda and Charlotte, N.C.
Executive Director is himself a two-time Olympic canoe racer. “Garrett County has done more than any other rural community in the U.S. to build infrastructure to host international-caliber whitewater events. We have a perfect whitewater venue for the return of the World Championships, and a historically significant date to celebrate the long heritage of whitewater paddling in the region. ASCI is very proud of its bid, and is grateful for the significant support it has received from local business leaders, Garrett County, the state of Maryland, and Maryland’s federal delegation.”ASCI’s”Deep Creek and Garrett County deserved to win this bid,” said Matt Taylor, For more information, call 301-387-3250 or visit the ASCI website.