Paddleboard giveaways galore at Tuesday whitewater races in Vail |

Paddleboard giveaways galore at Tuesday whitewater races in Vail

Matt Paula rides a stand-up paddleboard in the first race of the 2019 Bloch & Chapleau Vail Whitewater Race Series on Gore Creek in Vail. Series organizers the Vail Recreation District will facilitate giveaways for stand-up paddleboards at each of the remaining races in the series, on May 28 and June 4.
Vail Recreation District | Special to the Daily

The fourth race of the Vail Recreation District’s 2019 Bloch & Chapleau Vail Whitewater Race Series is set to take place from 5:15 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, and the final race is set for the same time June 4.

A stand-up paddleboard will be given away at each of the remaining races.

Last week, because of weather, SOL Paddle Boards postponed its paddleboard giveaway, so this week is your chance to win a new SUP from SOL, in addition to the series-long Badfish paddleboard giveaway.

While whitewater-race participants are automatically entered to win the Badfish paddleboard just by participating in a Tuesday race, you’ll have to show some skills to earn a raffle ticket for the SOL paddleboard. By completing a balance-board challenge Tuesday, you’ll receive a raffle ticket for the SOL giveaway. Bring the raffle ticket to the after-party that night at White Bison, where the board will be raffled off.

“It’s like an Indo balance board or similar board to that style, and I think they’ll get it wet to make it more challenging,” said Beth Pappas, with the whitewater series. “Then you’ll have to balance on it for a set amount of time, like 15 seconds.”

The following week, the Badfish paddleboard winner will be chosen at the final after-party of the season, June 4 at the Altitude Bar and Grill.

“Non-participants can enter into that drawing by taking a photo with the Badfish display board, which will be set up during the May 28 race,” Pappas said.

Local watershed expert Pete Wadden already won a paddleboard through the rec district’s whitewater series. For a five-race series, having three paddleboard giveaways has brought an unprecedented value to participants and spectators, Pappas said.

“I think it’s been a really fun vibe and a fun atmosphere, even when the weather hasn’t been so great,” she said. “Spectators and participants have been having a great time, and it really adds a fun element to an ordinary Tuesday night in Vail.”

Fast water, low times

The Vail Whitewater Race Series is open to paddlers 16 and older, most of whom will need to bring their own craft.

Raft manufacturer Hyside, however, will provide a limited number of two-person rafts for teams to use on a first-come, first-served basis.

Individual race registration for kayak and SUP participants is $12 preregistered or $18 day-of, and $18 preregistered or $26 day-of for R2 teams. Preregistration ends at 5 p.m. the day before each race. On-site, day-of registration will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Vail Whitewater Park, and all participants should be present at the safety talk at 5:15 p.m. Register online at

Paddlers will need the skills to navigate class III rapids, and the series will allow a lot of rafters to test their strength heading into the season.

“This is a fun way to track your individual performance, progress throughout the series and compete against others,” said Jessie Klehfoth, with the Vail Recreation District.

In a two-round format, a head-to-head race will follow an individual time trial, with results from the time trial determining the seeding for the head-to-head challenge.

Pappas said times have been impressive so far in the series due to the high water the area is experiencing.

“We’ve already seen some really low times in the fast water,” she said.

Complete results from the Tuesday, May 21 races below:

1 Tyler Lombardi/Chris Schultz 0:01:33
2 Seth Dade/Chris Schmidt 0:01:36
3 Matt Paula/Eli Gerstein 0:01:40
4 Nate Dumais/Dakota Bedeer 0:01:35
5 Reta Boychuk/Logan Opsahl 0:01:36
6 Hunter Chamness/Chris Hudgens 0:01:45
7 Michael Hart/Christie Jones 0:02:01
8 Hamilton Buchanan/Andrew Bare 0:02:01
9 James Wilkins/Chris Wolff 0:02:03
10 Robert Baker/Shayne Brikell 0:02:24

Female kayak
1 Jessica Cook 0:01:30
2 Caitlyn Ngam 0:01:35
3 Hailey Jacobs 0:01:49
4 Katie Fielder Anderson 0:01:53

Male kayak
Derek Dreyer 0:01:20
Peter Wadden 0:01:24
Mike Duffy 0:01:22
Joe Giglio 0:01:23
Alan Braunholtz 0:01:27
Liam Mattison 0:01:28
Markian Feduschak 0:01:28
Colin McCabe 0:01:29
Cougar Pursley 0:01:31
Tyler Harmon 0:01:32
Ken Hoeve 0:01:33

Female SUP
Trinity Wall 0:01:32
Reta Boychuk 0:01:34
Gentian Nuzzo 0:01:48

Male SUP
Matt Paula 0:01:30
Matt Buckley 0:01:24
Justin Ayer 0:01:30
Hunter Chamness 0:01:36
Logan Opsahl 0:01:36
Chris Hudgens 0:01:47
Eli Gerstein 0:01:49
Chis Johnson 0:01:51
Ken Hoeve 0:01:53
Andrew Bare 0:02:11
Hamilton Buchanan 0:02:19
James Wilkins 0:02:49

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