2009 US Freestyle Kayaking Team Trials

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Here’s a release about the upcoming US Freestyle Kayaking Team Trials (May 30-31, 2009) from the Glenwood Springs Chamber of Commerce via PRNewsWire.com:

McNasty may not be a household word yet, but everyone will have a chance to see and learn about one of the most difficult moves in freestyle kayaking. The McNasty will no doubt be a crowd-pleaser at the upcoming US Freestyle Kayaking Team Trials in Glenwood Springs May 30-31, 2009. The 180-degree spin into a front flip maneuver is among the toughest tricks in the sport of freestyle kayaking and will certainly be a highlight as the top kayakers in the nation compete at Glenwood Springs’ highly acclaimed Whitewater Park.

Approximately 100 competitors from around the country will converge in Glenwood to show off their skills and compete 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. Current World Champions, Eric Jackson, his daughter Emily Jackson, and Junior Champ Evan Garcia have already clinched spots on the team and are not required to compete, but will mostly likely show off their award-winning style at the competition. According to the chairman of the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Events Committee, Davis Farrar, “Though freestyle kayaking is not yet an Olympic sport, events like the U.S. Team Trials and the World Freestyle Championships are paving the way toward that end.”

In freestyle kayaking, the goal is to throw as many different moves as possible in a 60-second time frame—and 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 Glenwood Wave, which can have flows ranging from 4,000 to 22,000 CFS (cubic feet per second). Some moves may also be performed in a “hole” on the river, depending on what the water flow is on event day. In addition to the McNasty, other wow-factor moves include the Phonix Monkey, Airwheel, Darkside/Jedi Flip, Tricky Whu, Pan Am and Lunar Orbit. Some of these moves can launch athletes and their kayaks inverted and up to four feet in the air.

There will certainly be plenty of whitewater action, but landlubbers will also find lots to do on shore thanks to the 7th Annual Yagatta Regatta. The event will help welcome athletes and set a festive tone for the weekend. It can best be described as a one-of-a-kind rafting flotilla and costume contest that brings together the local whitewater community. In addition to the raft race, spectators can enjoy micro-brews, food booths, live music, kid’s activities and more throughout the weekend 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.

The US Freestyle Team Trials begin with preliminary competition starting at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, May 30, followed by semi-finals on Saturday afternoon. Finals are scheduled for Sunday, May 31. Spectators are encouraged to come and cheer for the paddlers. Off-site parking and shuttles will be available.

For more information on the event, to register for the competition, and to book lodging and activities in Glenwood Springs, go to www.glenwoodwhitewaterevents.com.

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