Glenwood whitewater park to host kayak competition Sunday
September 17, 2008
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorad ” Even if nasty weather surfaces to drop buckets of rain on Sunday’s Throw Down Show Down kayaking competition, Chris Vogt knows that the diehards will still be there.
“If we get rain from the hurricane, and it looks like we might have nasty weather for it, I still think we’ll see up to 50 diehards,” said the owner of Glenwood Canyon Kayak and Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park Committee member. “If we have nice weather like we do today (Wednesday), I think we could see in the hundreds. We had someone call from New Mexico today. We’re getting calls from points far and wide.”
Either way, with the widely acclaimed Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park hosting, whatever competitors do attend will have a first-rate venue to paddle at Sunday’s competition, touted as a tune-up for the May 2009 U.S. Kayak Freestyle Team Trials.
“All you have to say is Glenwood Whitewater Park and ears perk up,” Vogt said. “We happen to have a whitewater park that’s mentioned as one of the best in the nation, unofficially. All the top pros in the world say it’s the best.”
When the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park Committee learned it landed the U.S. trials, which could potentially draw thousands of competitors and spectators, it became apparent that going through the motions with a fall competition would help to iron out any potential wrinkles the committee might encounter in May.
Vogt is already seeing benefits from the decision.
“In just setting up this event, we’ve discovered some challenges,” he said. “We are concerned with putting our best face forward for the kayaking community and, more important, for the kayaking community to put its best face forward for our community of Glenwood Springs.”
Sunday’s competition begins at 11 a.m. and the Vogt expects the field to include a notable local or two. He’s hoping to see local paddler Leif Anderson and the Colorado Rocky Mountain School kayak team on hand. Others, like Ben Guska and junior national champion Michael Palmer, may also be on hand.
Kayakers will be out in full force this weekend.
“You’ll see a lot of trucks and cars driving around with boats on their roofs looking for places to stay,” Vogt said. “It’ll be good, a good little cash infusion on a Sunday here in town. Restaurants are going to see it. Gas stations and all other local businesses that will see it. I’m just hoping that we have a really beautiful day.”