Vail Whitewater Series continues on Gore Creek (video)
It doesn’t take long for the snow that provided so much fun for everyone on the slopes to change forms and provide excitement on the rivers. Whitewater season is here and there’s only a short and sweet time frame to enjoy the flows on Gore Creek.
The Vail District and Alpine Quest Sports know this time frame all too well and hosts a series of five whitewater races for kayakers, rafters and stand up paddlers before the spring run off comes to an end.
The races are for open to paddling enthusiasts age 16 and up who possess intermediate to expert abilities and feel comfortable running class III water. Each week, the races are divided between three categories including kayak, two-person raft and stand-up paddleboard.
The course changes each week based on river flows the day before the race. The two-round format will consist of an individual time trial with results determining the seeding for the second round, which is a head-to-head race.
“I always get excited that the Town of Vail still does this. Alpine Quest Sports and the Vail Rec District crew have stuck with it and it’s been such a fun event,” said John Mark Seelig, part owner of Lakota Guides, who provide the two-person rafts for the events. Seelig is also the captain of the U.S. Men’s Rafting Team and thinks this is a great place for people to improve their skills.
“As we get closer and closer to the GoPro Games, this is good prep for a lot of people who are going to compete in the events. It gives them a chance to become familiar with this stretch of the Gore,” Seelig said. “I also think it’s great for spectators. There aren’t as many people in town this time of year, but for those who are here, it’s fun to watch.”
An after-party is hosted each week at a different bar in Vail where the top three winners in each category will be awarded prizes. All participants and spectators over 21 will receive a free beer courtesy of New Belgium Brewing Company. To learn more, go to vailrec.com.