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Sunday, November 5, 2000 -- Point Pleasant, PA
Tohickon Creek Release & Wild Water Race II
Story & photos by Julie Black with the race story provided by Chris Norbury

[Details] [Coverage] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2]

AWA's Safety Guru
Charlie Walbridge at home
Every year, paddlers come from all over the east coast to play on the waters of Tohickon Creek in Point Pleasant, Pennsylvania. When officials opened the gates of the Lake Nockamixon Dam, the Tohickon didn't exactly become a ranging river as the local papers may boast, but it does become 4 miles of unique drops, and endless forgiving play holes that everyone could enjoy.

The Tohickon is no Gauley River by any stretch of the imagination, but seeing the put-in parking lot at Ralph Stover State Park certainly might remind one of Gauley Festival weekend. An estimated number of over 2,000 boaters fine tuned their skills on the creek Saturday & Sunday. It's quite the social scene at the take out as well, where many local outfitters set up booths to sell their latest gear. Even Mountain Surf, and Eskimo had reps there making special appearances.

Heather Rau boofin' hard
Trying to boost the popularity and awareness of whitewater racing, the Bethesda Center of Excellence had some racers on hand, driving their large wildwater boats down the river on Saturday and Sunday. An unofficial race was held on the creek Sunday. Although many of the racers went back to Bethesda, Maryland for the 11th Annual Whitewater Triathlon also held by the BCE, some fast paddlers stuck around to see who could breeze down the Tohickon the quickest.

The following race story below was written by Chris Norbury.

Cheat River Massacre-ence
Ted Newton has been a familiar face in the whitewater racing world
Tohickon Creek Wild Water Race II
The weather on Saturday was great, with temps in the upper 50's and sunshine all day. A total of 12 WW boaters showed up to learn the lines for next years TT. By Sunday the weather had turned colder with temperatures in the lower 40's, and a steady wind.

By race time there were only half of the number of WW boaters still around. The race started at 3pm from the base of the low head dam and ended at the Rt. 32 bridge. The continuous training runs, the cold weather and a few private boaters getting in the way on the race course took it's toll on some racers. Dave Bonomo and Shannon Reeves appeared to be the least affected by the less than favorable conditions as they were the top finishers of the race.

The results are as follows:
Shannon Reeves (26:14), Beth Karp (32:14) finished one, two for the women.

Dave Bonomo (21:08), took 1st overall, Ted Newton (21:11), Paul Hoda (22:20), Chris Iezzoni (23:29), Scott Leroux (25:51)

You still have to stay on your toes on the Tohickon
The Tohickon in the Future
It's rumored that the Tohickon has a 4 day release in March 2000. A great way to find out would be to contact The Lehigh Rafting Company at 1-800-291-7238. If you're not sure where the heck Point Pleasant, PA is, take it from someone who's from that area, it's about 45 minutes up the Delaware River from Trenton, New Jersey. It's a nice area, a fun run, and if you don't mind 15 boaters in an eddy with you, then you'll really enjoy what the Tohickon has to offer. I paddled it on Saturday, and it's easy to get more than one run in down the Tohickon in a day, maybe even 3 runs if you're not surfing too much. It's a great place to take a paddler who's mastered the Lower Yough of Ohiopyle, PA, whether they're in a kayak or a whitewater canoe.
The next WW Race that BCE is hosting will be on the Potomac on Sunday, December 3, 2000. Check out the Little Falls Sprint and Classic