It's almost time! Returning May 9, the Vail Recreation District is again partnering with Alpine Quest Sports to host the annual Vail Whitewater Race Series. In its fifth year, races will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays. All races will be held at the Vail Whitewater Park where spectators will enjoy viewing the action from the banks of Gore Creek. Five races are scheduled and overall series prizes will be awarded following the final race on June 6.
The Vail Whitewater Race Series is open to paddlers ages 16 and up with intermediate to expert abilities. The skills to run Class III whitewater in your chosen craft are required. This is a fun way to track your individual performance, progress throughout the series and compete against others.

The races will be divided between three categories including kayak (under 9'6"), two-person raft (R2) and stand-up paddleboard (SUP) with different course challenges every week. The two-round format will consist of an individual time trial with results determining the seeding for the second round, a head-to-head race.

Lakota Guides will be on-site at each event with a limited number of rafts available for R2 teams to use on a first-come, first-served basis. An after-party will be hosted at Altitude Bar and Grill in the Evergreen Lodge with cash and product prizes awarded to the winners of all three categories. All participants and spectators over 21 will receive free beer courtesy of New Belgium Brewing Company.
Once again, Vail Recreation District and Alpine Quest Sports will raffle off a 2017 Hala Rado SUP board (retail value $1,299). The board will be raffled off on June 6 at the Altitude Bar & Grill after-party for the final race of series. Everyone who competes in a Vail Whitewater Series event will be automatically entered, once for each race they participate in (up to five entries). Spectators can enter to win by taking a photo with the board at any of the five races, then posting it on Facebook and tagging Vail Whitewater Series and Alpine Quest Sports. Additionally, between May 9 and June 5, anyone can go into Alpine Quest in Edwards to take a photo with the board; posting and tagging will get them an entry. Entrants must be present at Altitude Bar & Grill on June 6 to win.

The VRD is excited to bring back the team competition to the Vail Whitewater Series. Teams will be composed of at least four athletes to compete in the SUP, two-person raft, and kayak divisions. Points will be awarded to the teams based on the team members' individual points earned at each race. Points will be accrued throughout the series. The team that accrues the most points over the series will be crowned the Vail Whitewater Team Champion and will win the "Golden Paddle" at the final race and the distinction of the top paddling team in the area.  

Kayak and SUP participants can register for all five races for $45, preregister for $12 for individual races or register on race day for $18. R2 participants can register for all five races for $70, preregister for $18 for individual races or register on race day for $26. Preregistration ends at 5 p.m. the day before each race. On-site, day-of registration will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Vail Whitewater Park.

Please note that parking is not available at the International Bridge, only gear drop-off. Traffic MUST enter from the Checkpoint Charlie side and exit through Solaris. Cars trying to enter through Solaris will be turned around. Parking for participants and spectators is available in the Vail Village parking structure.

Register online at vailrec.com/register. For more information, call the VRD Sports Department at 970-479-2280 or email sports@vailrec.com.

The 2017 Vail Whitewater Series is presented by the Town of Vail and Alpine Quest Sports. Additional sponsors include Howard Head Sports Medicine, the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, Hala, New Belgium Brewing Company, the Evergreen Lodge, Altitude Bar & Grill and Werner Paddles. Additional support is provided by Outdoor Tech, Lakota Guides, Optic Nerve, Boardworks, Stolquist and Down River Equipment.
About the Vail Recreation District
The Vail Recreation District's mission is to offer diverse and exceptional recreation opportunities that enhance the physical, social and emotional well-being of all its residents and guests. The VRD aims to help Vail Valley residents and visitors pursue their recreational passions by providing the following outlets for competition in summer and winter via a running and a mountain bike race series, numerous tournaments and/or leagues for hockey, volleyball, lacrosse, softball, golf, tennis, soccer, flag football, broomball, figure skating and rugby; venues like Dobson Ice Arena, Vail Golf Club, Vail Nordic Center, Vail Gymnastics Center, Vail Nature Center, Vail Skatepark, Vail Tennis Center, Community Programming, Vail's Imagination Station and use of additional gyms, playing fields and the surrounding White River National Forest via collaboration with local entities; sports classes and camps for youth, adults and families; and opportunities to learn about and appreciate our Rocky Mountain environment through guided activities, classes and camps.
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