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2010 Western US Jr. Wildwater Team Trials
and Glenwood Wildwater Jubilee

By Denny Adams, Great Blue Heron Canoe and Kayak Club,

December 24,2009 -- Glenwood Springs, CO

Junior Racers and their coaches need to mark their 2010 calendars on April 24th and 25th for this upcoming year's Western US Jr. Team Trials. Adult racers and juniors not interested in the Jr. Team should do so as well. As with the '09 WJTT trials this year's trials will be held in conjunction with the Glenwood Wildwater Jubilee Races, sponsored by the Great Blue Heron Canoe and Kayak Club (a USACK racing club), and conducted in the Glenwood Springs area of western Colorado. These races will have classes for all age groups and they will also be the first races of the Western Wildwater Cup race series which likewise will have all age classes.

This year's trials will be the third time since 2002 that the Western Jr. Team Trials have been held around Glenwood Springs -- in large part because the middle Colorado River offers some of the best early season, centrally located, whitewater in our region. A quality that makes this a great venue is variety. There are at least four suitable classic courses and at least four sprint runs with-in or just outside of Glenwood Springs, all with sufficient flows for paddling long boats in late April. This will be the third Glenwood Wildwater Jubilee races without having repeated a course twice. Having that variety provides a broader paddling experience to the racers. Another feature is that Glenwood offers a wide range of lodging and dining establishments that are generally very happy to have our business in their slow season. Special mention should be made to the hot springs in this area — not only the first class Hot Springs Pool but as well a few "for free" riverside pools.

Considerations that all racers should account and plan for in advance is that springtime in the Rockies is a time of cold, sometimes pushy, water and of fast changing weather systems that range from mildly warm and sunny days to having "warm" spring snowstorms. (April and May traditionally are the stormiest months and deliver the majority of the Colorado Rockies snowpack. It is important to bring suitable dress for cold water conditions, floatation for the boats, and to have the ability to self rescue without suffering from hypothermia on a relatively large and powerful river. The flip side to having a different course each year is the need to be able to read whitewater and the foresight to plan on arriving at least a day early to practice and become familiar with the courses. Coming early likewise allows some flexibility in case of weather changes.

As with any race, and especially those being held in mountain regions in Spring, all racers planning on attending should make a point to get in touch with me (as the race organizer) to get their names and contact information on our contact sheet. Being on the list is not a commitment as much as it is a mutual courtesy that allows you to be in on important planning information such as projected flows and weather, official meeting times, where to find others that show up early, where the pre-race meetings will be held, any last minute course changes, etc. — in short all the important to know stuff. A great hope is that many racers, locals and non-locals alike, will be able to make it to these races and that our Jubilee, as a team trial or not, will grow in quality and stature to that of other major regional races in the US. Toward that end this year's races will offer a lot of perks—shirts, posters, etc. that will make it a race not to miss.