2011 Yampa River Festival

It’s been a wetter than normal spring in the Rockies, and that’s just wetting people’s appetite for the 31st Annual Yampa River Fesitval and sixth annual Paddling Life Invitational on May 26-30 on the Yampa River in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Come on down and take part in the action, whether it’s joining in the downriver race, freestyle rodeo, crazy river dog competition and more, or simply cheering on your favorite river lover. New this year is a stand-up paddle board race, sure to draw competitors into the drink.

The event kicks off Thurs., May 26 at 6:30 p.m. with a screening of Raven Fork, a feature-length whitewater film at the Bud Werner Memorial Library. From there, the festivities continue with a registration party at Sunpies on Friday night at 6:30 p.m.

Paddling Life Invitational

Once again, watch some of the best men and women kayakers in the world compete in a two-event competition for more than $2,500 in cash and prizes.

Paddling Life Invitational

The unique event tests both downriver creek racing and freestyle, with the best overall score determining the champion. Slated to attend are current world freestyle kayak champions Nick Troutman and Emily Jackson, U.S. freestyle champion Bryan Kirk, two-time Invitational winner Stephen Wright and three-time winner Tanya Faux of Australia. “It’s an awesome event,” says Troutman. “It’s great to have an event that tests both creek racing and freestyle, all on the same day. There aren’t too many places where you can do that.”

Primary sponsors of this year’s event include Steamboat in the Summertime, Chaco, Rocky Mountain Remedies, Kokatat, Rabbit Ears Motel, and Canoe & Kayak magazine. The event also draws attention to Charlie’s Hole downtown, which the City based its successful recreational in-channel diversion water right (RICD) filing on in 2004. “This is just one way to help showcase what a world-class feature the town has,” says Paddling Life founder Eugene Buchanan. “Plus, it’s a great way to showcase and reward today’s best all-around paddlers.”

The event starts with an extreme race on Class IV-V Fish Creek at 10 a.m. Monday, followed by the freestyle event at 1 p.m. Competitors’ scores in each are then tallied to determine the overall winner. The festivities are followed by a party at the Boathouse Pub, featuring local bands, beer and other surprises. Look for coverage of this year’s event on Resort Sports Network thanks to Steamboat’s TV 18.  Info:  (970) 870-0880.

Volunteers: Contact Julianne @ 970-819-1307

Yampa River Festival - 2011 event poster

Competitors: Click here to register for the events

Exhibitors: Click here to sign-up


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