Welcome to Camp Walter Johnson

September 26th will mark the first ever FTI River Race. The race is going to be held at Camp Walter Johnson, a Salvation Army Summer Camp and conference center located on High Rock Lake just outside of Denton, North Carolina.

The camp itself opened in 1974 and since then has been place for summer fun for kids from all backgrounds in all aspects of the Salvation Army. The land for the camp was donated by, well, Walter Johnson of course, a resident of Denton. Thus, the camp was named after him thanks to his generous donation.

In 2010 an all new event will be brought to the camp, something that it has never seen before. Yes, the NCHSA will host round 12 of it’s 2010 championship series at the camp. Dubbed the FTI River Race it’s going to have something for everyone.

The camp itself will be open for activities including the pool, rock wall, ropes course, basketball courts and more. Saturday night will feature a spagetti supper and live band. Cabin rentals are available but may be full soon! The parking area for the race has plenty of room for motorhomes and tents, so with all the activities available, make sure you come spend the entire weekend.

What about the track itself?

Well, being an all new event at a location that has never hosted any type of racing event, there’s plenty of virgin trail. The track has been ridden and some of it has began to break in pretty well, but there’s also so true virgin trail out there. Therefore, if you’re running up front in the Pro or AA classes, definitely pay close attention on the first lap!

The track mixes very well and there’s really something for everyone. Portions of the track are snug single track while others open up to allow some passing and decent speed. There’s a few spots where some hotlines will definitely develop, however, be careful because there’s more than a few spots where you might get into some barbed wire on the side of the trail.

Shot from the middle of the camp.

There are multiple off camber sections but none of them will be super challenging. The toughest ones will be where the track winds back down by the lake but there are optional ‘easy’ ways that well, will be easier, but will take you a longer way around.

Some areas of the track can get a little rocky and as the race wears on some round and jagged rocks may begin to show. Make sure to be standing in the rocky sections and grip tight with your knees to control the bike, insuring that the rocks don’t get the best of you. Being virgin trail a good majority of the track is currently grey/brown top soil mixture but as with anywhere else in this area of North Carolina, there’s red clay once you get down past the top layer. However, some of the sections near the lake have a bit of a silty type soil, much like the Brown Jug NCHSA race or Big Buck GNCC.

The single track sections are tight but none of them are ‘walking it’ tight. A 250 two stroke or four stroke would be the ultimate weapon for this race, however, you 450 riders will be able to handle with no problem as well.

One of the kind of silty areas, which is a blast to rail!

For some, passing might be an issue in some areas. If you see an opportunity to make a safe pass, or even a gutsy one, definitely go for it because the tighter sections of the track will sneak up on you before you know it.

Also, if you missed it, here’s an iLap of the some of sections of the track. http://jaredbolton.com/2010/09/22/ilap-fti-river-race/

Other than that, just be prepared for a good weekend of racing in Denton, North Carolina. Remember to respect the camp so we will be welcomed back for years to come. Good luck to everyone who makes it out this weekend and hope everyone has a great time!

For more info and directions, logon to www.nchsa.org

For more info on Camp Walter Johnson, logon to www.campwj.com