Stand-up paddle is wiped from this year’s Teva slate
May 29, 2012
VAIL – Near-historic low snowpack levels in Colorado have resulted in below-average runoff in the rivers and creeks near Vail, forcing organizers to cancel the stand-up paddling events at the Teva Mountain Games this week. All other whitewater events at the Teva Mountain Games are scheduled to take place as planned.
The canceled competitions include the SUP surf sprint and the SUP surf cross.
“While we regret canceling the SUP competitions, we are not willing to put the safety of the competitors at risk,” said Michael Imhof, vice president of sales and operations for the Vail Valley Foundation. “One thing you quickly learn when you live in the mountains is to have a healthy respect for Mother Nature. This decision was made in conjunction with our whitewater specialists and water-safety experts, all of whom concur that the conditions are too shallow for safe, viable SUP races.”
Gore Creek was measured at 190 cubic feet per second on Tuesday afternoon. The Teva Mountain Games whitewater experts, including whitewater authority Charlie Ebel, agree that they would prefer a reading above 500 cfs for safe SUP competitions.
The other whitewater events at the Teva Mountain Games, including the Bud Light Lime Steep Creek Championships, the Bud Light Lime Kayak Freestyle, the Bud Light Lime 8 Ball Sprint, the Bud Light Lime Downriver Sprint and the Teva Raft Cross, all remain on the schedule.
“Homestake Creek, where the steep creek race takes place, is running at 87 cfs (Tuesday), which is low but very runnable,” Ebel said. “The downriver races are easier for the kayakers at low water because they don’t have fins like SUP boards. But some of the lines are different, so as always, we recommend a prerace course inspection.”
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The kayak freestyle is held in the Vail Whitewater Park, where organizers can adjust the hydraulic feature using inflatable baffles to maximize it for the playboaters to throw tricks.
Organizers will refund the entry fees for all athletes affected by the cancellations. Anyone registered should wait for an email from the Vail Valley Foundation for further refund instructions.
While the conditions are currently less than ideal for some of the Teva Mountain Games whitewater events, the dry spring has allowed for early construction of the mountain-bike and trail-running racecourses, both of which are in great condition now. Athletes from around the world will be coming to Vail to compete in eight sports and 22 races.
For more information on the Mountain Games, visit http://www.tevamountaingames.com.
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