Glenwood Canyon: Whitewater Stand Up Paddling Championships May 30-31

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Glenwood Canyon will be the site for the inaugural Whitewater Stand Up Paddling Championships this weekend. Here’s a report from Scott Willoughby writing for the Denver Post. From the article:

…the inaugural Whitewater Stand Up Paddling Championships make their way to the snowmelt-swollen Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon. Think of it as a paddle-powered downriver surfing competition. “It really is uncharted territory. That’s the cool thing,” said Charlie MacArthur of Aspen. “But the venue we have is unreal. It shows off all the skills — from turning and the ability to run the river, catching eddies and whatnot, as well as surfing. The wave is insane…

“This is the first whitewater race that’s completely stand-up paddling, and it’s a legit national championship,” said Dan Gavere, a former professional kayaker who has taken to SUP on the water surrounding his home in Hood River, Ore. “It’s going to be really fun, and I think it’s going to be a big challenge for everyone.” Accurately describing the balancing act of paddling a surfboard down a big-water river is nearly as difficult as the act of keeping your feet in the swirling currents of the Colorado. At present flows of more than 9,400 cubic feet per second (cfs), the river is a brute — cold and surging with untamed intensity that can uproot a tree and send a surfer for a swim. The three-part Whitewater SUP Championships is designed to challenge the athletes’ technical skills by combining nearly 8 miles of downriver racing in the Class II-III whitewater between Grizzly Creek and the Roaring Fork River confluence at Two Rivers Park with a shorter slalom competition and a judged wave-riding contest in Glenwood.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

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