Registration for Vail Pond Skimming starts Sunday |

Registration for Vail Pond Skimming starts Sunday

Special to the Daily/Jack Affleck

VAIL, Colorado ” In its seventh year, the World Pond Skimming Championships will return to the Spring Back to Vail weeklong festival on April 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Vail Mountain’s Golden Peak base area. Skimmers from around the world will test their buoyancy in hopes of becoming the 2009 Tuaca World Pond Skimming Champion. Registration will open to the public online at beginning today and is limited to a field of just 75 participants.

The Tuaca World Pond Skimming Championships entails floatable (and sometimes sinkable) athletes launching themselves off an on-snow jump, into a 100-foot pond in an attempt to successfully exit the pond on both feet. Competitors will vie for fame and glory. Judges will score each competitor on distance, style, creativity and water solubility. All eyes will be on the grand prize of $1,000 and the elusive Golden Skimmer title.

“My brother Mark Sample is the 2008 reigning World Pond Skimming Champion and he recently got engaged so we’re throwing his bachelor party at this year’s event,” said Denver’s Brian Sample. “I have entered in the competition for five years now and plan to compete for the rest of my life if I have to, until I win.”

Highlighting the Spring Back to Vail festivities, the Tuaca World Pond Skimming Championships is open to brave souls who aren’t afraid of a little water. Registration is $50 per person and is limited to a field of 75 participants on a first come, first served policy. Online registration, as well as detailed event information including rules is available at Note that the event will sell-out quickly.

“The best advice I can offer competitors is to keep your eyes open and concentrate on the end of the pond,” Sample said. “I made it across the pond last year, but I don’t think the judges appreciated my flavorful costume. I’m not going to give-away my costume for this year’s championship, but I can tell you there is a mask and cape involved.”

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It’s all part of Spring Back to Vail, April 13-19,. Each year, Spring Back to Vail brings end-of-season entertainment to Vail Mountain with on-snow events, headliner concerts, nightly parties, the ever-popular World Pond Skimming Championships and new for 2009, the Breitling All Mountain Film Competition. For more information, visit

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