The Vail Whitewater Series is back for 2022! The event is held in the heart of Vail from May 10th – June 7th starting at 5:20 pm each week. There are three categories of competitors: two-person raft, kayak, and SUP. The race is open to everyone provided you have the skills to run class III whitewater in your water craft of choice. Click this link for more details, and registration.
The first four weeks of the race series are broken up into two parts. The first part is an individual time trial down the course. In the second part, each of the competitors are seeded based on the results of their time trial. The top nine finishers move on to the championship bracket, while all other racers are transferred to the consolation bracket for a head-to-head competition. The last race on June 7th starts at the Betty Ford Amphitheater Bridge, and is a single downriver event for all disciplines.
The first week of the series was a warm mid-sixties afternoon in Vail. You could feel the energy among all the paddlers eager to get on the water! Vail Recreation District does a great job of organizing the event and keeping things moving. There were 49 competitors, some of which do multiple events, so scheduling it all out is a logistical feat!
It was great to get back on the Gore Creek in Vail. Every week is different because the course continuously changes. Getting a warmup lap or two in before the race is key, so you can get a feel for how the river is running. The male SUP event came down to Jeremiah Williams and Scott Simpkins, with Jeremiah pulling out the win when Scotty fell in the water near the International bridge. The lady SUP final was pretty epic, with four SUPs on the water at once. Trinity Wall was in the lead, but Kerri Karcz was able to squeeze by her to take first place this week.
Congrats to all the winners!