That’s right! The Slalom World Cup finally returns to the United States this coming weekend, October 3-5, for the first time since 2001. The American Open takes place at the year-old ASCI artificial whitewater course built atop the Wisp Ski Area in Deep Creek, Maryland. A fake river built on the top of a ski area? That’s right! The whitewater is world-class and the views are stunning. And for competitors — there is even a conveyor belt to take you back to the top of the course while still in your boat! This magnficent course has also hosted the last two National Championships. While I can say from experience that the ASCI course is not as demanding as some in the United States, the surrounding landscape makes it, in my opinion, the best major racing venue on the East Coast. There are even four adjustable “wave shapers” that can modify the river’s features.
The website for the American Open is:
And the big news is that Michal Martikan, the Slovakian who is coming off a Gold Medal in Men’s C-1 slalom at the Beijing Olympics, and who has won three other Olympic medals, will be racing at the American Open. Martikan has long been my hero, and to see him racing back on American soil again will truly be an honor. This race will also feature a number of other paddlers from around the world (including me!) and likely all of the 2008 US Olympic Team.
This should be quite a good time. I can’t wait!