Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-17-2011   #1
Cañon City, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 15
Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival

Canon City, Colorado invites everyone to join us June 24th and 25th for the Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival. We are relatively new on the scene, but we have great events and an enthusiastic crowd.

Back this year is a 10-mile downriver race for rafts and kayaks through the Royal Gorge and we have been approved to race at levels up to 4,000 c.f.s. In conjunction with the raft downriver race there will be a new event called Pedal Paddle Battle in which cyclists will race 20-miles from Parkdale to Canon City. The course will take them over the Royal Gorge Bridge. The wager is beer. We also have three different freestyle rodeos at the Canon City Whitewater Park for kayaks, rafts, and body boards. The kayak rodeo is a Hometown Throwdown so come one, come all and it is in memory of David Schmitt who passed away tragically in May at the University of Wyoming. Proceeds from this event will go to a fund in his name.

There are several new events this year. The Raft King of the Wave is all about who can last the longest in the wave. We will have a 2-mile Duckie Race and a 5K run/obstacle course known as WAR as part of a progressive triathlon. Those two events will join the Pedal Paddle Battle to make up the three legs. The marquee event continues to be the Build Your Own Boat Race, known as the ByOB.

We will offer a cash purse for the downriver races, rodeo’s, and king of the wave. Each and every whitewater event and averages $1,000 per event.

The Festival has a great musical line-up this year, a larger beer garden, amazing food, and a fun zone for the kids. We are now at Centennial Park in Canon City right along the south shore of the Arkansas River and next to the Whitewater Park. You can get all the information online and register for events at

All of the proceeds will benefit the continued expansion and improvement of the Whitewater Park as well as other programs in Fremont County. See you in Canon City, Colorado on June 24th and 25th for the Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival.

Cañon City Area Recreation and Park District
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Old 06-17-2011   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 331
kayaks through the Royal Gorge and we have been approved to race at levels up to 4,000 c.f.s.
ONLY 4000 cfs?!?!?!?! I kayaked it today at 3670 cfs and it is great and getting better and better. I've been running the gorge nearly every day for the past 3 weeks. Partly for fun, and partly for line scouting. I plan on running an old-school Wavesport Crossfire in the race so I've been using that boat for some of the runs to prepare. Water higher than 4000 cfs is not to be feared. The biggest baddest level is 3500 cfs, (plus or minus). Above that, nearly every major feature starts to wash out with the big holes transforming into big easily runnable waves. Last year me and nearly every other racer on the podium ran the Gorge together a bunch in the 4000s, and at least 3 or 4 times over 5000, the highest being 5400 and it was a piece of cake, easier and easier as the water level rose. I'm not saying this to brag, but to argue against the race getting cancelled due to the water level being at river stage: awesome, a once in a blue moon level. It is probably going to crest 4000 on Sunday or Monday, and for sure by Friday's race day. Who do we gotta talk to get that ceiling raised or better yet, tossed. Just make the racers sign another waiver or something?
"So in two seconds, away we went, a sliding down the river, and it did seem so good to be free again and all by ourselves on the big river and nobody to bother us." -Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
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Old 06-18-2011   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2003
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The Gorge is easier/safer at 5,000 than it is at 3,500.
It would make NO SENSE to allow a race at 3,500 but not at 5,000. It is safer at 5,000.
The race was greatly hampered last year by the fire and the concordant closing of the canyon earlier that week; thus turnout was low.
Don't follow that up the next year by canceling the race if the flow is 5,000.
Again; 5,000 is a safer level than 3,500.

-Mike G
3rd place, playboat class, 2010 downriver race
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Old 06-20-2011   #4
KVBA TV8 Vail weatherman/Colorado Kayaker, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Looking forward to the kayak race. Never paddled that stretch.
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