Elite kayakers and rafters take on Gore Canyon | VailDaily.com

Elite kayakers and rafters take on Gore Canyon

Staff Report

Hundreds of rafters and kayakers battle each other and challenging Class V whitewater in the awe-inspiring Colorado Rockies.

Gore Canyon boasts the most difficult whitewater on the entire length of the Colorado River. Tumultuous, demanding rapids like “Tunnel Falls,” “Toilet Bowl” and “Gore Rapid” challenge the racers in this 4.5-mile long downriver sprint.

The description of Class V rapids from a river guidebook is enough to scare even the most seasoned whitewater veteran. It reads, “For experts only. Extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids which expose a paddler to above average endangerment. Drops may contain large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes.”

The Extreme Downriver Kayak Challenge is held on the same course as the Class V Raft Championship. This demanding race attracts an elite field made up of the top male and female whitewater downriver kayakers in the nation. The athletes challenge the clock and Gore’s rock-studded rapids in this heart pumping downriver sprint. The fastest paddlers in each division win the right to stand on the podium with the top two winning the coveted titles of the King and Queen of Gore.

Last year the event boasted a field of cutting-edge kayakers including waterfall record holder Tao Burman, extreme kayaking legends Sam Drevo, Edwards resident Dan Gavere and some of the hottest female kayakers on the planet, including Tanya Schuman and Brook Winger.

Many of the world’s best rafters will take the challenge during the Class V Raft Championship. The country’s premier downriver raft race attracts a boatload of top ranked raft teams for a weekend of competition and riverside parties. Thousands of dollars in cash and prizes will be awarded to the top finishers.

Each year the Gore Canyon Music and River Festival raises thousands of dollars for non-profit river conservation organizations. Money from the festival will be donated to the American Canoe Association (ACA) and the Colorado Whitewater Association (CWWA).

For more information, call (970) 923-3955.

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