Go OutsideWatauga Race

Watauga Race

The 2012 Watauga Gorge Race has come and gone, and has proven itself yet again to be one of the best grassroots kayak races in the Southeast!

This is a fun one because it is tradition to stack the heavy hitters and former winners in the back of a 30-40 person pack, and start everyone all at once!  It is chaos, and it always takes a unique balance to fight through all of those paddlers and still have the energy to finish the run smooth and fast.

I personally didn’t have quite as smooth sailing as I have in the past.  The water level was excellent at 400 cfs, but it took me longer than usual to get out from the pack, and then Toby McDermott and I battled and beat each other up through the entire gorge with multiple passes.  This left Eric Chance clear to take the 1st place title.  If you watch the video, I also had a sketchy flip in one of the bony lines of the course, in which I lost my paddle and thought I was going to swim!  It’s good to get humbled by the river once in a while, right?!

Enjoy the video, and my apologies for the camera fog…


1. Eric Chance
2. Chris Gragtmans
3. Toby McDermott
4. Chris Harjes
5. Clay Lucas
6. Jim Janney (1st short boat)
7. Colin Hunt
8. Mike Patterson
9. John Quigley and Steve McGrady (First and only K2)
10. Tyler Mayo
11. Red Green boat with FNA full face???
12. Kirk Eddlemon
13. Alex Matthews
14. Ryan DeKay
15. Chris Baer
16. Saunders Southecorvo
17. Garret Thompson
18. Van Nall
19. Dylan the Highschooler
20. Red green boat geen t-dub ????
21. Ty Brown Caldwell
22. Dennis Gilfillan



1. Nikki Malatin
2. Erin Savage

Short Boats

1. Jim Janney
2. Kirk Eddlemon
3. Garret Thompson
4. Dennis Gilfillan

Hand Paddles:

1. Bill Clipper
2. Edgar Peck


1. Mark Miller


1. John Quigley and Steve McGrady

Good Lines,


Places to Go, Things to See:

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