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Glenwood Wildwater Jubilee & US Western Team Trials Races

April 2, 2013

by Denny Adams, Events and Program Chair

April 20th and 21st is set for this year's Glenwood Wildwater Jubilee Races hosted by the Great Blue Heron Canoe & Kayak Club. Our intended venue, pending finalization of the permit that needs only our insurance verification, is the Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon in the western Colorado Rockies. The weekend's two event races (Classic and Sprint) are consistently the western US's largest wildwater event with a race field that is a pleasant mix of our region's junior program racers and a growing group of new adult wildwater racers. As it has for the past four years, the Jubilee races are also the host event for our Western US Jr. Wildwater Team Trials. As this is a Jr. World Championships year and one that for the first time since 2007 will be held on challenging water (on the Lofer course in early July) we will be hosting two levels of race events. The open or Jubilee classes will be inclusive of all age and boat classes including open canoes and recreational kayaks. The Jubilee races are intended to take place on the section of river between the bottom of the Shoshone Run and No Name-- a small community with an access area roughly two miles downstream. The difficulty level is class I and II whitewater on a broad and mild dropping run. Grisly is not our hardest run but it is notable for being in a very neat setting. Its not the Grand Canyon but for an easily accessed river it is about as close as one can get in terms of being in a great place to boat.

The team trials events this year will be exclusively for aspiring Jr. National Team Members racing in USACK Jr. level boat classes (K-1, K-1W, C-1, C-1W, C-2, C-2W) and in wildwater boats that have been inspected for basic compliance to design and safety standards. In order to test our candidate's readiness for Lofer we will be working to have the trials' courses include powerful class III & IV water that is challenging in a wildwater boat. Baring high enough river flows to supply pushy rapids we will do our best with a course that has more drop, more rocks, and is more technical than most that are found in wildwater races in this region. The intended team trials course will include the last two rapids of the Shoshone Run; Tombstone and Maneater, which also known as Lower Superstition. While this is strictly a junior team selection race we will have provisions for qualified and selected "Forerunners" from other age classes to run in the team trials races. Unlike in past events where we had fields of up to thirty junior racers competing, the higher standards our team needs in place to race at Lofer necessitates that the team trials race field will be relatively small.

As in the past, I strongly encourage athletes intending to compete in these races to plan to arrive early in order to practice the courses. This is especially important for racers coming in from other regions or for locals who are not familiar with the rivers of western Colorado. In doing this familiarization, I also advise keeping a flexible mindset. Our Spring water flows have a history of dramatic changes related to fast moving spring storms and as well to sudden periods of warm weather which work to speed up the snow melt. Courses in the past have needed to be adjusted as late as the morning of the race.

I will also stress that until the courses have been finalized (read as " when our permits are in hand" ) we need to be looking at this event as it officially exists, as an event whose permit is still being processed. Patience and respect for the process is important. In this spirit I strongly advise our interested coaches, racers, and racers' parents to keep in touch with me (as the race director) as the primary means of communication. I also encourage all racers coming into these races from outside of Colorado to contact me directly regarding travel and lodging for our races and for training and boat advice. This is best done by contacting me at to discuss your questions and concerns and as well to get on our racers contact list. Most active Colorado area racers are already on that list and notably we have a few there from out of our region. If you are interested in these races or know of others who are please take the effort to make contact as we welcome all from our small sport that can make it out.

That said we're looking forward to having a strong showing from our wildwater community out racing in Glenwood Canyon in just a few short weeks.

--denny adams