GoPro Mountain Games whitewater competitions are good to go

The waterflows will be challenging but safe after the region experienced an abundance of winter snow and cold, rainy spring

The GoPro Mountain Games features kayaking, rafting, fishing and SUP competition this weekend.
Vail Valley Foundation/Courtesy photo

On Friday, June 2, whitewater specialists gave the green light for this year’s whitewater competitions — including kayaking, rafting, fishing and SUP competitions — during the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado, June 8-11.

The stellar snow year in the Rocky Mountains, combined with colder temperatures and rain leading up to the event means waterflows will certainly be challenging but safe next week.

“We’re looking really nice,” said Lisa Reeder, whitewater specialist for the Mountain Games. “Honestly, it’s kind of ironic how everybody at the end of the [ski] season was saying the water would be too high, but it really goes to show that it always depends on the weather, what happens when the season is over.”

Reeder added that the Mountain Games has never had to cancel whitewater events in her seven-plus years as a specialist, accounting for both low and high-water years.

“This is normal,” she said. “That section is really fun and rowdy when we have enough water. It should be a lot of fun to watch the boaters this week because we should certainly have more water than we did last year.”

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Kicking things off will be the Pacifico Gore IV Raft Challenge on Thursday, June 8, at 10 a.m., with the Optimum Nutrition Kayak Freestyle Qualifiers happening later in the day at 3:30 p.m. The action on Friday, June 9, includes the GoPro Gore IV Kayak Challenge at 10 a.m., followed by the Optimum Nutrition Kayak Freestyle Semi-Finals at 2:30 p.m. and the Pacifico Raft Cross at 4 p.m. On Saturday, June 10, the Pacifico Down River R2 Raft competition takes place as well as the TINCUP Down River Kayak Sprint, the GMC Down River SUP Sprint and the Optimum Nutrition Kayak Freestyle Finals. On Sunday, June 11, the popular (and carnage-filled) Pacifico 8-Ball Kayak Sprint takes place at 1 p.m., as well as the NEW Orvis Species Slam and GMC SUP Surf Cross.

“While Mother Nature is going to do her thing no matter what, we are excited to go forward as planned with the whitewater competitions at the GoPro Mountain Games this June 8-11,” said Ross Leonhart, marketing & multi-media manager for the Vail Valley Foundation. “Registration is still open up to 24 hours ahead of each event, and this year’s whitewater competitions are sure to be fun and rowdy.”

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