Glenwood Springs prepared for kayak team trials | VailDaily.com

Glenwood Springs prepared for kayak team trials

John Gardner
jgardner@postindependent.com
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” The 2009 U.S. Freestyle Kayak Team Trials are less than one month away, and Glenwood Whitewater Events president Davis Farrar says that Glenwood is ready.

“I think it’s going to be a really great thing for Glenwood and the valley,” Farrar said.

He said that depending on how well this event goes, local nonprofit Glenwood Whitewater Events could possibly pursue hosting the 2013 World Freestyle Kayak Championships.

“That is a very impressive event,” Farrar said. “But we’ve got a feature that is good enough for it.”

The Team Trials are the precursor for the World Championships, which will be held in Thun, Switzerland, in August.

But first, Glenwood has to survive the 2,000-3,000 competitors and spectators that are expected for the team trials the weekend of May 30-31. They don’t have a complete list of competitors yet, but Farrar expects about 100 competitors to sign up.

“They will be, certainly, the top boaters in the U.S.,” Farrar said. “And because they are the best in the U.S. they will certainly be some of the strongest in the world.”

Logistically, parking is the biggest factor to consider, but Farrar said that everything is shaping up as the event draws near.

Last fall, the Throw Down Show Down Kayak competition had up to 300 people on the banks of the Colorado River. This event will have many more people, but that event was a good test run.

“In terms of the event logistics, we’ve got that under control,” Farrar said.

However, he’s still working out all of the details with the parking. There will be no on-site parking, but the plan is for a main event parking area at Two Rivers Park with RFTA shuttles running every half hour down Devereux Road to the whitewater park.

But that parking is expected to fill up pretty quickly because Operation Vacation is holding its annual fundraiser, the seventh annual Yagatta Regatta, the same weekend in connection with the team trials.

So, Farrar is working on a second parking option, he said, but nothing is confirmed yet.

“There is some limited parking options around,” he said. “We are encouraging people to ride bikes to the event. It will be a good way to get around.”

Portions of Devereux Road will be limited to traffic near the park, Farrar said, but the street will not be closed.

Crowds could be an issue as well, but Farrar isn’t too worried about it. He said that there is enough room on both banks to accommodate spectators.

The nonprofit received a $20,000 tourism grant from City Council to help pay for capital improvements at the site and event expenditures like transportation, traffic control and barricades during the event.

But the whitewater park was turned down for Great Outdoors Colorado Grants, which Farrar was hoping to get for landscaping and riverbank improvements before the event. However, he said that it was not a big deal that they didn’t get the money.

“There was some disappointment,” he said. “But if you put in new landscaping and then have an event with 3,000 people, it doesn’t do much good for the landscaping.”

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

jgardner@postindependent.com