ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships – Bryson City, NC


What is this event? It is the ultimate whitewater event that will feature top freestyle athletes from around the world, as well as plenty of activities, competitions and events for spectators and fans. Live music, arts and crafts, and a festival atmosphere with Appalachian flair round out the weekend. Don’t miss this premier international event in Bryson City, the heart of the North Carolina Smokies!

Visitor Info:

On competition days (Sept 3 thru Sept 8) $5 parking is available in Nantahala Gorge. Head to the event site at Nantahala Outdoor Center and follow signage and flaggers to the nearest available parking lot. Expect to ride a short shuttle to the event site. Free parking is available in Bryson City, with shuttles leaving from town on the hour. Signage and flaggers will lead from Exit 67 off US 19/74 to the shuttle lots.

$5 parking fee per/vehicle for Gorge lots; parking is FREE for lots in Bryson City.

There will be open air gondola train one-way shuttle tickets available on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad; return is by bus to the train parking area. More info

Our week of official events kicks off at 6 pm on Monday, September 2 with the parade of athletes and official welcome ceremony in downtown Bryson City. The ceremony will include a performance by the Warriors of AniKituhwa, a traditional Cherokee dance group; and will be followed by the Big Air Show.

From a riverside ramp, kayakers are lauched high into the air before splashing down into the Tuckasegee River. Open to athletes and spectators alike. Kayaks are provided.

Explore the Artisans’ Village with a variety of traditional mountain arts and crafts on display and for sale. You may find handmade jewelry, recycled glass art, pottery, organic herb and spice mixes and more. The Village is sponsored by Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center, which provides authentic Appalachian experiences with music programs, an artisans’ gallery, festivals, and classes in heritage crafts and culinary arts.

Look for live music every night of the week at the venue in the Gorge and in Bryson City, where musicians will be performing throughout the streets of town. And, of course, many of the local restaurants and the brewery will be offering music throughout the week as well

Between competitions there are lots of fun paddle-sports activities for spectators and athletes alike … such as Fontana Lake demo tours, kayak races, head-to-head SUP race, team rodeo races, rubber duckie races, canoe ball race and more. There will also be fun activities for children like face painting and bouncy house; and vendors will be on site offering product demos, giveaways, interactive contests, official souvenirs and more.

NOC Mini-Me Rodeo Tuesday. Teams of up to 4 paddlers surf the 2013 Wave earning points for spins, stunts and spectacular carnage. No rafting experience is necessary, just a adventurous spirit and comfort swimming in whitewater.

Wave Sport Wesser Falls Extreme Race Wednesday. The race runs through the 2013 Wave and finishes in Fontana Lake. Top athletes negotiate the class 5 Wesser Falls, striving to find the fastest line and stay upright and ahead of the competition. The winner of each heat will progress to the next round, until a winner emerges from the final race.

Bomber Gear SUP Race Thursday. Stand-up Paddleboarders race head-to-head through the 2013 Wave.

Dagger Dash Thursday. Meet at the Nantahala Falls for the Dagger Dash, this fun, free-for-all competition ending at the NOC Founder’s Bridge. The event entails a le-mans start, and participants will have to scramble to find the boat of their choice to run the Nantahala Falls. Boats will include play boats, duckies, flat water boats, creek boats and river runners. Strategy, speed, good humor, and a bit of luck will decide the winners. Prizes will be awarded for different classes, including short boat, long boat, inflatable and non-whitewater craft. Please feel free to use our boats or to provide their own. All participants MUST wear appropriate PFD and helmet.

Bomber Gear Dress for Success Challenge Friday. Open to paddlers of all ability, the challenge is a fun, approachable way to get involved. Competition takes place just downstream of the 2013 Wave.

US Wildwater Nationals Classic Race Friday. The Race will begin at Ledge’s Rapid and finish below the 2013 Wave. A variety of classes promote fair competition. Cost is $20 for both Classic and Sprint (Sat.) components.

Dagger presents 8-Ball Competition Friday. Paddlers race head-to-head negotiating gates, and trying not to get knocked off course.

US Wildwater Nationals Sprint Race Friday. The race will start below the Nantahala Falls and finish below the 2013 Wave. Top athletes will paddle Wildwater boats and vie for the title of US Champion, but the event is open to everyone and multiple rec. classes will be available. Cost is $20 for both Sprint and Classic (Fri.) components.

Wilderness Systems Lake Demos Saturday & Sunday. Free and available to paddlers and non-paddlers alike. Test out flat water boats and explore beautiful, tranquil Fontana Lake from NOC’s flat-water access, just a short walk downstream of the 2013 Wave.

Wilderness Systems Challenge Saturday. Teams of 3 maneuver flat water boats around a course on Fontana Lake. Winners receive a Wilderness Systems prize pack. Suitable for paddlers of all ability levels.

VIP Raft Race Saturday. VIPs race through Nantahala Falls and the 2013 Wave.

Rubber Duckie Races Friday, Saturday & Sunday. $5 buys you a duckie and a chance to win great prizes. Proceeds benefit Swain County & Robbinsville High School Athletic Programs, PAWS No-Kill Pet Shelter, and the Nantahala Racing Club.

AT Canoe Ball Saturday. Like to kayak? Like to play basketball? Register in teams of 3 or let us help you find a team in this canoe/basketball mix.

Dagger Presents: The RPM Stern Squirt Session Sunday. Dust off your long boats, pull on your neoprene, don’t miss this retro rodeo on the Nantahala. Points are awarded for pirouettes, surfs and squirts, as well as style.


Schedule of Events: Click here for more info. Need a Cabin at 20% OFF Click Here

Event Schedule – Subject to change at Organizer’s discretion
Monday, September 2
6 pm: Athlete Parade & Opening Ceremonies
in Bryson City
6:45 pm: Warriors of AniKituhwa, presented by Duke Energy WATCH
7 – 10 pm: Live Music in Bryson City ENJOY
7 pm: Big Air Show – Everett Street Bridge, Bryson City WATCH
Tuesday, September 3
11 am – 12:30 pm: Competition: Heats (K1 Men Junior) WATCH
12:30 pm: NOC Mini-Me Rodeo JOIN IN
1:40 – 3:45 pm: Competition: Heats (K1 Men Junior,
OC1 Men)
5 – 8 pm: Live Music at venue & in Bryson City ENJOY
Wednesday, September 4
11 am – 1 pm: Competition: Heats (Squirt Women
& Men)
1 pm: Wave Sport Wesser Falls Extreme Race JOIN IN
2:30 – 4:15 pm: Competition: Heats (Squirt Men, K1
Women Junior)
5 – 8 pm: Live Music at venue & in Bryson City ENJOY
Thursday, September 5
11 am – 2:30 pm: Competition: Heats (K1 Men) WATCH
2:30 pm: Bomber Gear SUP Head-to-Head Race JOIN IN
3:30 – 5:30 pm: Competition: Heats (K1 Men) WATCH
5:30 pm: Dagger Dash JOIN IN
5 – 8 pm: Live Music at venue & in Bryson City ENJOY
Friday, September 6
11 am – 12 pm: US Wildwater Nationals Classic Race JOIN IN
12 – 2:30 pm: Competition: Heats (C1 Men, K1 Women) WATCH
2:30 pm: Bomber Gear Dress for Success Challenge JOIN IN
3:15 – 4:30 pm: Competition: Heats (K1 Women) WATCH
4 – 7 pm: Live Music at venue ENJOY
4:30 pm: Rubber Duckie Race to benefit Swain & Robbinsville High School athletic programs JOIN IN
5 – 7 pm: Competition: Quarterfinals (K1 Men) WATCH
7 pm: Dagger presents 8-Ball Competition thru 2013 Wave JOIN IN
8 – 11 pm: Live Music at venue & in Bryson City ENJOY
Saturday, September 7
11 am – 12 pm: US Wildwater Nationals Sprint Race JOIN IN
11 am- 2 pm: Wilderness Systems Lake Demos JOIN IN
12 – 3:00 pm: Competition: Semifinals (Squirt Men & Women, K1 Men Junior) WATCH
2 pm: Wilderness Systems Challenge JOIN IN
3 pm: AT Canoe Ball JOIN IN
4 – 5 pm: Competition: Semifinals (C1 Men) WATCH
4:45 pm: VIP Raft Race WATCH
5:30 pm: Rubber Duckie Race to benefit PAWS No-Kill Animal Shelter JOIN IN
4 – 7 pm: Live Music with Buncombe Turnpike ENJOY
9 – 11 pm: Competition: Semifinals (K1 Women,
K1 Men)
8 – 11 pm: Live Music at venue & in Bryson City ENJOY
Sunday, September 8
10 am – 12:30 pm: Competition: Finals (Squirt Women & Men, OC1 Men, K1 Women Junior) WATCH
11 am – 3 pm: Wilderness Systems Lake Demos JOIN IN
12:30 pm: Awards Ceremony WATCH
1 pm: Rubber Duckie Race to Benefit the Nantahala
Racing Club
1:15 pm – 2:30: Competition: Finals (K1 Mens Junior,
C1 Men)
2:30 pm: Dagger presents: The RPM Stern Squirt Session JOIN IN
3:15 – 4:45 pm: Competition: Finals (K1Women, K1 Men) WATCH
4-7 pm: Live Music with Unspoken Tradition ENJOY
5 pm: Awards Ceremony WATCH
5:15 pm: Closing Ceremonies WATCH
8 pm – Live Music with Dirty Bourbon River Show ENJOY

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