Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Versa Board down Gore Creek in Vail, Co.

The last couples weeks has had me traveling in Colorado for a couple events and a couple rivers.  This past weekend I was helping at the Teva Mountain Games with the Extreme Race down Homestake Creek and the Freestyle Event in the middle of the Vail Village.  I also signed up for the SUP surf cross sprint down Gore Creek which is the first time I have entered any kind of an event on a stand up paddle board.  Its also the first time that I have run a river that I hadn't first run in a kayak.  So it was a personal first descent for me and my Versa Board.

Theres a video at the bottom of the story.

 Gore Creek is very continuous especially at the levels we were on it.  The video is from the day before the race.  The water came up several hundred CFS the next morning for the sup race which made all the waves bigger and the whole section much more continuous.  There were a couple of solid class two drops that were made more difficult by low hanging bridges.  Its one thing to stand up down rapids but to also duck under bridges, pipes, and trees makes it more like a class 3-4 experience.  The first trip down was pretty uneventful.  I managed to not fall in at all but I could feel how tired my legs were after three and a half miles of maintaining my balance and paddling.  Lets just say it was a good workout.

The race went well.  I finished 16th out of 39 guys. The water was much higher during the race and the waves and rapids were a lot bigger.  I fell 3 times I think mostly because I was exhausted.  When I stepped off my board my legs were shaking and my arms were tired.  It didn't help that we were racing at 8000 ft.  It was a great time and I will do it again.  One of the cool things that happened during this event was that a team of Hawaiian SUP racers flew over for the event.  Of course they came and kicked all our asses but they also brought a good vibe.  Before the race they handed out shell necklaces to everyone and asked us to remember the things that were important.  They wanted everyone to look out for each other and remember that just paddling and friends were what it was all about.

I hope you are all getting out on all the water.

Here is a video of the session on Gore Creek on the Versa Board.

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