On December 13th and 14th a crew of talented, earnest and enthusiastic paddlers convened to participate in an evaluation of the site that is outfitted with a tunable WaveShaper. Clay Wright, Pat Keller, Andrew Holcomb and Daniel Dutton were recruited to join the event, and we were also lucky to have Tommy Yon and Zach Thomason on hand to paddle and video the activity. Client Lee Liebfarth presided as he worked closely with Duke Energy on holding up flows when we were in the channel, and contractor Bill Baxter and his extraordinarily talented crew were on hand to haul and install key edits to the rocks steering flow to the feature. An unplanned equipment issue left us in the river well past 9 pm and we didn’t finish all the change we’d hope to achieve.
The feature has many of the positive aspects of the tried, true and temporary feature locals loved. It is deeper and has a lot more power that could stand to be toned down. More soon, as we hope to get in another round of edits. We thank our hosts, the awesome paddlers and Bill Baxter’s expertise, for it will the combined talents of this ‘village’ will help us, as Daniel puts it, ” take advantage of the design that is waiting there for us!”
The official site opening occurred on December 16th at which Andrew described the improvement as “a Christmas present to the region” and to the kayaking community.” See the the MWDG flickr set of Nantahala River Improvement photos, WorldKayak and 2013 World Championships site for more information.