Event Specific Information
Picnic at Asheville Outdoor Center on Saturday; ADVANCE NOTICE REQUIRED
The Saturday evening picnic will be held at the Asheville Outdoor Center at 5:00 p.m. and is designed for competitors, sponsors, volunteers and their guests. The cost is $10 per person and while you can pay when you arrive, we have to know AT LEAST A WEEK AHEAD of time how many folks are coming. Consequently, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot(s) at the picnic. Thanks.
Race headquarters will generally be the Asheville Outdoor Center. Check-in and registration will be there on Friday evening (6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.). Please note, however, that last minute registration for the BR 18 on Saturday will be at the start line at the Blantyre Access. There is no last minute registration for the FB 50; advance registration is required.
The following directions are provided using the Asheville Regional Airport as a starting point.
The airport is located just off of Interstate 26 at Exit 40. These directions should be used in conjunction
with a map or a GPS.
From the airport, go south on Route 280. Go approximately 19.0 miles. Turn left unto Route 276 South. Go 1.5 miles. Shortly after you first see the river, turn right into the Hap Simpson River Park.
From the airport, go south on Route 280. Go approximately 10.5 miles. Look for a sign directing you to the town of Etowah and, just past it, turn left onto Brickyard Road. Follow Brickyard Road for approximately 4 miles, right through the middle of the golf course. Near the end of that 4 miles, at a stop sign, you have to make a 90 degree turn to the right to stay on Brickyard Road. Shortly after the 90 degree turn, you will come to a stoplight which is the town of Etowah and the intersection with Route 64. Turn right (west) onto Route 64 and go approximately 2 miles. Not long after crossing into Transylvania County, turn left onto Grove Bridge Road. Cross the railroad tracks CAREFULLY BECAUSE there are no warning gates or lights!! After crossing the tracks, you will cross the river and the Blantyre access area is on your left.
From the airport, go south on Route 280. Proceed about 1.25 miles around the airport and past the fairgrounds. Just before crossing the river, at a traffic light, turn right onto Ferncliff Park Drive, then immediately left into Westfeldt River Park.
There is camping available on the river immediately next door to Asheville Outdoor Center (site of Saturday dinner and Sunday finish line) at Wilson's RV Park; see http://www.wilsonsrvpark.com/ or call 828-254-4676. There are National Forest Service campgrounds and other private campgrounds in the vicinity as well. There are lots of motels in Hendersonville and Asheville. Any of the hotels near the Asheville Regional Airport (town of Fletcher, NC) will be convenient because they are within a mile or so of Westfeldt River Park, the finish line for the BR 18 and the second checkpoint for the FB 50. The airport (Fletcher) exit is Exit 40 off of Interstate 26.
The average high temperature in the area for the end of April is 70 degrees and the average low is 45 degrees
but, as always, be prepared for extremes and for rain.
Click here for Asheville weather from National Weather Service
The French Broad River, surrounded by Pisgah National Forest, is a terrific venue for paddle racing.
The water level is not dam-controlled and, therefore, can vary dramatically. The median flow for late April
is around 1,000 CFS, which is plenty of water; the run can be made at considerably lower flows. If conditions
warrant, it may be necessary to adjust the start and finish points of the race. Real time flow information for
the French Broad at Blantyre can be found at
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?03443000. The expected river level for the next few days can
be found at
To view some photos and videos of the race and/or the river from previous years, click here or on the link above.
River access is very convenient thanks to the tireless efforts of RiverLink, an advocacy organization for the French Broad, and others. The Blantyre Access at river mile 34 and the Westfeldt River Park at river mile 52 are maintained by the Henderson County Parks and Recreation Department. These access points and more are shown con a terrific map published by RiverLink. For an on-line version (1.3 MB), see: www.riverlink.org/riverguide.pdf
More information about the river can be found on the French Broad River Paddling and Recreation blog.
The French Broad Classique is hosted by FB Paddle Racing, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation
whose purpose is to promote paddle sports races, especially on the French Broad River in North Carolina.
Net proceeds from the French Broad Classique, if any, will be donated to the Taylor Hunt Fund for Rivers
and Outdoor Learning at the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. For more information about the
Taylor Hunt Fund, click here.
Event Contact: Tom Blue; 1540 Fountain Ridge Road, Chapel Hill, NC, 27517; (919) 428-4302 (mobile); email@example.com (E-mail is preferred method of contact for questions and will generally be returned within 24 hours unless we are off on an extended river trip somewhere; thanks). Click here to access the entry forms when they are available (generally January of each year).