WWOC Downriver Site Description

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The Colorado Association of Paddle Racers (CAPR) is proud to be hosting the1999 Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver National Championships July 16 to 18. The site of the venue will be the town of Salida, Colorado which is home of the infamous FIBArk (First In Boating The Arkansas) Festival - the oldest downriver race in America. The traditional FIBArk downriver race is contested in mid-June and is a 26 mile race. In 1998, FIBArk celebrated its 50th Anniversary and hosted the U.S. Wildwater National Championships.

The 1999 WWOC Downriver National Championship course will be 9.4 miles of the Arkansas River from Salida to Rincon. This is also the first 9.4 miles of the traditional FIBArk course. The downriver nationals are scheduled for July 16 to 18 to anticipate the most desirable water level for the race based on historical flow data. The Arkansas River mainly depends on snow melt and the level can fluctuate from day to day. Changes in the river level does not necessarily change the level of difficulty of this section of river, though the size of the waves get bigger as the flow increases. Mass starts will be used for all classes. It is a downriver course that contains nearly continuous class II/III rapids and above 1,500 CFS will challenge racers' abilities to keep their canoes dry. The final 1/2 mile of the downriver course is known as "Squirt Dome" by kayakers and is home to whirlpools, strong eddy lines and boils. It will be a challenging finish for exhausted racers and could decide the final outcome of closely contested classes.

The sprint course will be 1.1 miles long, or about 6 1/2 to 7 minutes in length depending on flow. The sprint course will showcase Bear Creek Rapid, starting a couple hundred yards above it and ending about 1/2 mile below Bear Creek Rapid. The course will contain nearly continuous whitewater. One minute intervals will be used for the sprint.

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For more information contact Scott Overdorf

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