Westwood Outdoors was created by Andrew and Carole Westwood in order to provide a site where people can find information on paddling techniques, tips and ideas all pertaining to kayaking and canoeing. Our River Notes page highlights recent articles, new instructional concepts, and paddling techniques.
The information stated on this site is designed as a general guide and not a substitute for experience. (more…)

2015 ACA Nationals (NORAM) on the Madawaska!!

Attention open canoers, this year the ACA North American Open Canoe Slalom Championships (NORAM) will be held at the Madawaska Canoe Centre in Barry’s Bay Ontario Canada. Race dates are July 22 – 24. Come earlier to partake in other paddling opportunities, or stick around afterward, the water is warm and levels in the area of Ontario will be great!

This family friendly slalom race spans the whole white-water canoeing community, novice to well-seasoned, North American to beyond, with two weeks of slalom courses and clinics, local river runs, practice time and, of course, the race itself.

MKC is home to one of the best slalom courses available anywhere, with warm water rushing through 25 gates, more the 70 practice eddies throughout the run, class II – III channels, all with a mature mixed forest backdrop to the rocky shoreline. The downriver run travels 5 km through nearly continuous white-water with rapids ranging in difficulty from class I to III.

If you have not yet visited MKC, check out their website.  www.owl-mkc.ca/mkc  It features a spectacular deck ringed chalet/dining room, boutique and coffee bar, log sauna, lodge rooms, dorms and cabanas, plus camping for 150+ paddlers. Delicious meal plans are available during the event so you can put all your energy into paddling then wind down on the deck with fellow paddlers in the evening.

Race classes are divided into categories for men, women, mixed, juniors and offer runs through both the slalom course and also the 5 km downriver event. If you are new to slalom the Citizen class attracts those who have not competed before and want to give racing a try. There are many Recreational classes for plastic canoes with some classes offering up some stiff competition. Then, there is the Race class with arguably the fastest boats, the glass race canoes.

In addition to the slalom race, all are invited to join in some local river runs prior to and after NORAM. Local sections of the Madawaska River offer more class I – III white-water runs. An hour and half away is the mighty Ottawa River with its famous class III middle channel and pumping class IV main Channel. Also worth visiting are the Petawawa, Gatineau and Rouge Rivers.

If more paddling variety is needed, maybe for family members not into canoeing, rafting on the Madawaska River at MKC the week prior is perfect for a float trip. Or, to up the adrenaline, rafting with OWL (MKC’s sister company) on the Ottawa River is spectacular.

Stay tuned for more information.

So, come join the canoeing fun! Race, paddle, meet new friends, catch up with old friends – this is going to be a great event!

See you there,

Carole and Andrew Westwood