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The 2021 edition of the Tennessee Valley Canoe Club Ocoee River Race went down on 10/9/2021 and we had some extra flow in the river with 1,800 CFS to make it even better. The race course starts at the put-in for the Middle Ocoee at the Roger’s Branch launch ramp. The race finish is 4.4 miles downstream where racers must tag a raft tied to a tree on river right just below Powerhouse Rapid. This year over 100 racers signed up to GO FAST in this time trail race offering many different classes.

It was great to be back in racing action after missing the event last year due to the pandemic and race organizers reducing the size of the event for 2020.

This year’s race winner, Chris Hipgrave, set a new course record time with the extra flow!

Full race results can be found at:

My best friend, Brian Vermillion, and I have a long history of racing each other in this race. We’ve both had our ups and downs with results over the years, but we’ve always managed to have fun together since we are close competitors! This year we split the win between us with Brian taking the long boat win and I taking the short boat win!! We both posted our fastest race laps to date in both classes with the extra flow and that was awesome too.

It was great to have Brian’s wife, Sam, by the riverside to cheer us on and run shuttle for our race laps. Thank you #blondeWife!!

The highlight of the day for both Brian and I happened on our paddle out to the take-out after our long boat laps finishes. We were passing by the island where the commercial take-out ramp is located and we received a fly over from a bald eagle. Brian saw it and called it to my attention and we both looked at each other and said “America” at the same time! Good times, good times!!

Photos by Sam Vermillion.