Gore Creek hosts Vail Whitewater Series

Early season competitions help whitewater enthusiasts pass the time between seasons

All winter long, while the skies were opening up and dropping loads of snow, whitewater enthusiasts were already thinking ahead to what that would mean for the waterways in Colorado. On May 7, many kayakers, rafters and standup paddlers got a chance to utilize that snow in the form of rapids and ripples on Gore Creek during the Bloch & Chapleau Vail Whitewater Series.

This five-race series is put on by the Vail Recreation District, Alpine Quest Sports and the town of Vail and is a great way to get ready for the whitewater season. It’s 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 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.

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. Head to Bol for the after party on May 14, Pazzo’s on May 21, the White Bison on May 28 and Altitude Bar and Grill on June 4.

After the series wraps up on Gore Creek, the action will continue at the new Eagle River Park in Eagle starting on June 11.

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Race day registration begins at 4:30 p.m. at the Vail Whitewater Park at the International Bridge and all races begin at 5:30 p.m. It’s a spectator-friendly event with plenty of viewing opportunities on the bridges and along the banks of Gore Creek. To learn more about the Vail Whitewater Series, go to

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