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"In the past, I think some competitors stayed away because it was always hard to compete against guys like Dane Jackson and Nick Troutman in the freestyle portion."
Some of the world's best creek racers are expected to descend on Steamboat Springs, Colo., on Monday, June 3, for the eighth annual Paddling Life Creek Race -- to be held on Class IV-V Fish Creek -- wrapping up a weekend of fun-filled events and races at the 2013 Yampa River Festival.
Strategically positioned to allow racers to compete between the Lyons Games June 1-2 and GoPro Vail Mountain Games June 6-9, this year's event differs slightly from those in years past in that it is a creek race only, with no freestyle component. Held on a 2- to3-minute section of Class IV-V Fish Creek, which careens into the Yampa River downtown, the race -- sponsored by the City of Steamboat Springs, Rocky Mountain Remedies, RhinoRack, Kokatat, Canoe & Kayak magazine, Anmerican Whitewater and more -- offers a cash purse of nearly $1,800, with $600 going to the men's winner and $400 to the women's. A post-race party follows at Carl's Tavern downtown.
"We decided to simplify things a bit this year and just hold the creek race," says organizer and Paddling Life founder Eugene Buchanan. "In the past, we had a combined purse and I think some competitors stayed away because it was always hard to compete against guys like Dane Jackson and Nick Troutman in the freestyle portion. This might bring a few more creek racers out for it, especially those training for the Homestake race at the Vail games. It should be a great event."
The event follows a weekend of fun-filled events at the Yampa River Festival, including slalom races, a freestyle event, SUP races, downriver races and more. It also follows on the heels of the Steamboat Marathon, to be held Sunday, June 2.
Registration for the event is onsite at the put-in (registration closes at 4:30 pm) at a cost of $15 per racer. Racers and spectators are advised to please park along Steamboat Blvd., not the road leading upstream to the put-in. More info can be found here: http://www.paddlinglife.net/article.php?id=257
For lodging, camping and lodging options abound (Visit www.steamboatsummer.com , 877-286-2628, for information), or visit the event's host Rabbit Ears Motel, where you can put on the Yampa right outside your door, at (800) 828-7702, 879-1150). And there's plenty of other great paddling around, from the C-hole right downtown to the Elk River, Willow Creek and Gore and Cross Mountain canyons nearby.
Paddling Life Creek Race Event, Mon., June 3, 2013
5 p.m.- Middle Fish Creek
One mile of Class IV-V continuous whitewater.
7: 30 p.m. Après Paddle Party Carl's Tavern
New Belgium Brewery beer, music, food & more
And remember to visit Steamboat Springs in the Summertime! Visit www.steamboatsummer.com for complete vacation packages and information or call 877-286-2628.
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