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Glenwood: Kayak event successful

Anthony Dion
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Vail CO, Colorado
Kelley Cox/Post IndependentDarin Kellum was one of 36 competitors at the first annual Throw Down Show Down at the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park on Sunday. For more images, see staff photo galleries.
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – With the sun shining and the whitewater roaring, a couple of hundred people gathered on Sunday morning at the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park for the Throw Down Show Down.

They came from all around including Glenwood Springs and bordering states like Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Only in operation for a half year, the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park has garnered so much acclaim in its short existence that the U.S. Freestyle Kayak committee immediately decided to host the 2009 U.S. Kayak Freestyle Team Trials here in Glenwood Springs.



“All you have to say is Glenwood Whitewater Park and ears perk up,” said Chris Vogt, owner of Glenwood Canyon Kayak and Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park Committee member. “We happen to have a whitewater park that’s mentioned as one of the best in the nation, unofficially. All the top pros in the world say it’s the best.”

Because of that high acclaim and the upcoming team trials, the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park Committee decided to host Sunday’s “Throw Down Show Down” as a sort of dry run for the 2009 event. The goal was to pinpoint any issues or potential problems they might face logistically with the number of people that will be traveling to Glenwood Springs for the event early next year.



So far so good.

“It’s been a great experience,” Chris Tonozzi, lead event organizer and whitewater park committee member, said as the competition got under way. “I’m calling it a wet run now instead of a dry run because of [Sunday morning’s] weather. We’ve found out where the sticking points are and certainly, we still have some work to do on the parking scene.”

The kayakers were certainly out in full force on Sunday.



Among those in attendance were world class paddlers Connor Flynn and Jed Selby, local pros Leif Anderson and Brooke Bevan in addition to the Colorado Rocky Mountain School kayak team.

“It’s been a great experience,” Chris Tonozzi, lead event organizer and whitewater park committee member, said as the competition got under way. “I’m calling it a wet run now instead of a dry run because of [Sunday morning’s] weather. We’ve found out where the sticking points are and certainly, we still have some work to do on the parking scene.”

The kayakers were certainly out in full force on Sunday.

Among those in attendance were world class paddlers Connor Flynn and Jed Selby, local pros Leif Anderson and Brooke Bevan in addition to the Colorado Rocky Mountain School kayak team.

There weren’t any losers today, though. The weather was better than expected, and everybody was out having fun, pulling cartwheels, sidewinders, back flips and other fun things in the cold Colorado River water.

The Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park has been nothing but a success.

“I think the proof of that is in the pudding,” Tonozzi added. “We’ve had so many pros come because it’s really the only park roaring right now.”

The proceeds of the event went to benefit the production of the Team Trials event in 2009 and youth scholarships for the Youth Kayak League.


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