The U.S. white water paddling team, dominated for the second straight time by a large Washington-area contingent, took 15 medals in the biennial world championships last week in Bala, Wales.

France, with 17, was the only nation to win more medals in the competition, conducted in a daily cool drizzle on the coffee-colored River Tryweryn.

Jon Lugbill of Fairfax, who won the world title in 1979 in C1 slalom class (one-man decked canoe), was the victor again in Wales. Lugbill edged silver medalist David Hearn of Garrett Park by four-tenths of a second for the gold. Frenchman Jean Senellier took the bronze.

The U.S. team of Lugbill, his brother Ron and Hearn took the gold medal in the C1 team race, where three boats run nose to tail through the course. The Americans beat the nearest competition by some 80 seconds.

Hearn's sister Cathy, the defending champion, finished a disappointing second to West German Ulrike Deppe in the K1W (women's kayak) slalom. Hearn missed a gate on her second run and had to go back upstream, which cost her the title. She teamed with Yuri Kusuda of Bethesda and Linda Harrison of Brookmont, Md., to win the team K1W bronze.

Mike and Steve Garvis of Great Falls won C2 (men's two-man canoe) slalom and Jeff Huey and Paul Grabow of Brookmont, Md., took the bronze. Those two boats, joined by a third paddled by Paul Flack of Oxon Hill and Carl Gutschick of Silver Spring, took the bronze in the team event.

The U.S. swept the C2M (two-person mixed) competition, led by gold medalists Liz Hayman of Boulder, Colo., and Fritz Haller of Glencoe, Md. Barb McKee and John Sweet won the silver; Karen Marte and Brett Sorenson won the bronze.

The Americans won no medals at all in K1 (men's kayak). Briton Richard Fox took the gold; the top U.S. paddler was Dan Isbister of Brookmont, Md., who was 14th