RIDGWAY – The Mosaic Community Project is pleased to announce the third annual Ridgway River Festival schedule, slated for June 26 following the roaring success of the 2009 watershed celebration.
“Last year we had more people enter the events than we had expected,” events coordinator Deb Read says. “It was a great turnout. We hope that the community and the boaters will rally again to participate in the water events.”
Registration for the 2010 River Festival will begin with registration in Rollins Park from 9-11 a.m. A safety briefing will follow at 11:10 a.m. with racing vessels beginning at 11:20 a.m. (LeMans-style start: run to vessels then get in). The hard shell kayaks/biathlon will start at 11:30 a.m., inflatables/biathlon at 11:40 a.m., paddle boards at 11:50 a.m. and the white water rodeo at 1:30 p.m.
The popular Junk of the Unc race will begin at 2 p.m. with the awards ceremony following at 3 p.m.
Put-ins for all events will be at the foot bridge in Rollins Park. Take-outs for the down river races will be at Ridgway State Park, approximately 3.5 miles downstream of Rollins Park (except for the Junk of the Unc race which takes out at an eddy just south of the railroad bridge).
Registration for each boat is $20, plus $5 for each non-ACA member competing (please bring ACA card). Discounts are available for those who would like to enter multiple events. All participants must have a coast guard–approved life jacket and helmet to participate.
This year, the festival has added two new river events, a stand up paddleboard race and a biathlon. As there are a growing number of river enthusiasts trying out the new sport of paddle boarding, this fun category was included as a way to support this sector of river recreation. The biathlon will be combined with the hard shell kayak race and the inflatable boat race. Boaters who wish to participate in the optional biathlon can partner up with a cyclist or complete both legs themselves. The cyclist will begin biking as soon as their boating partner tags them in the parking lot of the State Park. The cyclists will follow the bike path back and finish their portion of the biathlon at Rollins Park. Prizes will still be given to boater finalists.
Also new to this year’s festival is the incorporation of a LeMans-style start to the river races. Rather than sitting in the river suited up and ready to go, competitors will begin in a footrace to the river, carrying their vessels, before launching towards the finish line.
Two of the day’s most popular events are the Whitewater Rodeo and Junk of the Unc. The Whitewater Rodeo features kayakers who will be taking turns cartwheeling and spinning in one of the holes below the bridge at Rollins Park.
“This event provides a great opportunity to watch some of the best whitewater kayak moves on the Western slope,” says Read.
As always the Junk of the Unc race will be sure to inspire shoreline laughter. Last year, the competitors were not only creative with their designs but were also determined and relentless to win. Prizes are given for speed and creativity, so start planning your design now.
In an effort to inspire more people to enjoy river recreation, the festival will be offering four free kayak clinics operated by the Telluride Kayak School. Boats and gear will be provided and all clinics will be held at the Ridgway reservoir. Anyone interested in signing up for a clinic, call Read at 596-3440 or email email@example.com. Spots will be filled on a first come first serve basis.
For more information or to volunteer, please visit the official Ridgway River Festival website at www.ridgwayriverfestival.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.