Vail Whitewater Race Series returns to Gore Creek on May 23
The Vail Recreation District and Alpine Quest Sports will host the third race in the five-part Vail Whitewater Race Series tonight at the Vail Whitewater Park.
Now in its fifth year, races take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays in May and early June. Spectators can enjoy viewing the action from the banks of Gore Creek at the whitewater park, located beneath the International Bridge in Vail Village.
The Vail Whitewater Race Series is open to paddlers ages 16 and up with intermediate to expert abilities. The skills to run Class III whitewater in your chosen craft are required. The races will be divided between three categories including kayak (under 9’6”), two-person raft (R2) and stand-up paddleboard with different course challenges every week. The two-round format will consist of an individual time trial with results determining the seeding for the second round, a head-to-head race.
Lakota Guides will be on-site at each event with a limited number of rafts available for R2 teams to use on a first-come, first-served basis. An after-party will be hosted at Vendetta’s in Vail Village with product prizes awarded to the winners of all three categories. All participants and spectators older than 21 will receive free beer courtesy of New Belgium Brewing Company.
Vail Recreation District and Alpine Quest Sports will raffle off a 2017 Hala Rado SUP in conjunction with the series. The board will be raffled off on June 6 at the Altitude Bar and Grill after-party for the final race of series. Everyone who competes in a Vail Whitewater Series event will be automatically entered, once for each race they participate in (up to five entries). Spectators can enter to win by taking a photo with the board at any of the five races, then posting it on Facebook and tagging Vail Whitewater Series and Alpine Quest Sports. Additionally, between May 9 and June 5, anyone can go into Alpine Quest in Edwards to take a photo with the board; posting and tagging will get them an entry. Entrants must be present at Altitude Bar and Grill on June 6 to win.
The VRD is also excited to bring back the team competition to the Vail Whitewater Series this year. Teams will be composed of at least four athletes to compete in the SUP, two-person raft and kayak divisions. Points will be awarded to the teams based on the team members’ individual points earned at each race. Points will be accrued throughout the series. The team that accrues the most points during the series will be crowned the Vail Whitewater Team Champion and will win the “Golden Paddle” at the final race and the distinction of the top paddling team in the area.
Kayak and SUP participants can preregister for $12 for individual races or register on race day for $18. R2 participants can preregister for $18 for individual races or register on race day for $26. 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.
Rita’s two closest peers have climbed the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak 21 times each, but both of them have retired from mountain climbing.