Glenwood Springs: U.S. Freestyle Kayaking Team Trials May 30-31

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From the Vail Daily:

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.

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