The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has awarded the 2014 Canoe Slalom World Championships to Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI). Following presentations at its April 15 spring board meeting in Paris, ICF selected ASCI’s “Deep Creek 2014: ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships” bid over competing entries from Vienna, Austria and Krakow, Poland.
The event, to be held September 16-21, 2014, will mark the 25th anniversary of the 1989 World Championships held on the Savage River in Garrett County and represents a return of world championship whitewater canoe and kayak racing to the United States for the first time since the 1989 event.
“Deep Creek and Garrett County deserved to win this bid,” said Matt Taylor, ASCI’s Executive Director and 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.”
Taylor added, “ASCI is very proud of its bid, and is grateful to the significant support it has received from local business leaders, Garrett County, the State of Maryland and Maryland’s federal delegation.” Letters of support were submitted from U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Garrett County Senator George Edwards, Garrett County Delegate Wendell Beitzell, Maryland Sports Marketing Director Terry Hasseltine, Garrett County Commissioners, Garrett County Chamber President Nicole Christian, Wisp Resort owner Karen Myers and Garrett County Community 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 Commissioner Crawford. “This momentous event reinforces the vision for ASCI as well as allowing 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, outrigger canoe racing, dragon boat racing, marathon canoe racing and sprint canoe which is an Olympic discipline.”
He added, “The county and state benefitted economically from media coverage of the 1989 World Championship, 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 their recommended bid, but they 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, Matt Taylor and Suzanne Nicolas (ASCI’s Event Coordinator).
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.
Since the announcement of the 2014 World Championship bud, the ICF completed the technical visit on May 13-15, 2011 touring the ASCI and Garrett County, and meeting 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, led the ICF team, and was joined by ICF Slalom committee member Eric Lokken of Durango, Colorado. Prono was a coach during the 1989 Worlds “and remembers Garrett County fondly,” reported Taylor.
Also in attendance for the technical visit was Joe Jacobi (USA Canoe/Kayak CEO and 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 Boathouse Foundation), and Terry Hasseltine (Maryland’s Sports Marketing Director) as well as three USA Canoe/Kayak Slalom National Team athletes – two-time Olympian Scott Parsons (Sylvania, Ohio) Caroline Queen (Darnestown, Md.) and Ashley Nee (Darnestown, Md.).
ASCI’s 2011 whitewater season starts on May 14th with regular guided whitewater rafting. In addition to regular guided whitewater rafting, the ICF also saw technical canoe and kayak demonstrations provided by members of the U.S. Olympic and Junior National Teams. All of the athletes that attended the visit came from the USA Canoe/Kayak’s training center in Bethesda, MD.
“Deep Creek 2014” is part of the Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI), a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), charitable organization formed to promote adventure tourism and healthy outdoor lifestyles.
ASCI is home to the world’s only mountaintop manmade whitewater course and has taken more than 44,000 people paddling since it opened in 2007. It offers world-class adventures in whitewater rafting, kayaking and canoeing to groups and individuals at all skill levels and backgrounds. In addition, ASCI attracts national and international caliber competitions, including last summer’s Age Group National Championships in Whitewater Olympic Slalom and the Open Canoe National Championships.
ASCI also offers programs in rock climbing, rappelling, mountain-biking, Geocaching and more. For more information call 301-387-3250, or email firstname.lastname@example.org