U.S. Freestyle Kayaking coming to Glenwood Springs | VailDaily.com

U.S. Freestyle Kayaking coming to Glenwood Springs

Daily Staff Report

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” The U.S. Freestyle Kayaking Team trials will take place in Glenwood Springs on May 30-31. The action runs from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. The top kayakers in the nation will compete at Glenwood Springs’ highly acclaimed $1,000,000 Whitewater Park on the Colorado River at the Midland Avenue Bridge. Spectators are urged to come out and watch the exciting whitewater action and cheer on the athletes.

About 100 competitors will show their skills at the event, competing for a spot on the team that will represent the United States at the World Freestyle Championship to be held in Thun, Switzerland in August 2009. Kayakers willing to show off their skills, but not competing for a spot on the U.S. team are also welcome.

In freestyle kayaking, the goal is to throw as many different moves as possible in a 60-second time frame. The higher the degree of difficulty, the better. Judges award points based on difficulty, variety, and amplitude. The more moves performed, the more points a competitor can accumulate. Tricks will be performed on a standing wave, known as the G-Wave, and flows the last weekend of May are anticipated to be 15,000 to 18,000 CFS (cubic feet per second) with the spring run-off. Some moves may also be performed in a “hole” on the river, depending on what the water flow is on event day. Many freestyle kayaking moves can launch athletes and their kayaks inverted and up to four feet in the air.

The 7th Annual Yagatta Regatta will take place concurrently with the US Freestyle Kayaking Team Trials, just 2.8 miles away at Two Rivers Park. The event will help welcome athletes and set a festive tone for the weekend. A local’s favorite, it’s best described as a rafting flotilla and costume contest that brings together the Glenwood Springs whitewater community. In addition to the raft race, spectators can enjoy Coors beer, pizza, barbecue, ice cream, nine live bands throughout the weekend, youth activities and more at Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs. The Regatta is the primary fundraiser for Operation Vacation, a non-profit organization, which provides all-expense paid weekend getaways for deserving soldiers and their families. To learn more go to http://www.coloradoyagattaregatta.com.