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Wildwater Nationals, West Junior Trials and FIBArk (June 17-19)

John Pinyerd
USAWildwater Committee Chair

May 10, 2005 -- Atlanta, GA

The USA Wildwater Nationals are just a few weeks away. Here is WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW to ensure you have a great time at USA Nationals (and Western Jr. Trials). The races are being hosted by FIBArk, one of the world's best and longest running paddling festivals. With snow-packs running at 130%+, we should have great water levels for this years events.

WHERE: Salida, Colorado.
The 2005 USA Wildwater Nationals and the Western Junior Team Trials are being hoisted by the 57th annual FIBArk Whitewater Festival. The Salida, Colorado area is known as "The Boating Capital of the World" and "The Heart of the Rockies." Salida lies about 150 miles south of Denver and is truly one of the most beautiful areas in the world. With towering mountain peaks as a backdrop, Salida offers a scenic beauty seldom surpassed and lies near the midpoint of 100 miles of pristine whitewater on the Arkansas River. Both of the USA Nationals events will run through the Bear Creek Rapid section near Salida. The FIBArk classic 26 mile wildwater will begin in Salida and pass through the Bear Creek section in route to Cotopaxi.


  • Wildwater Nationals Sprints: Friday, June 17, at 11:00 a.m. The two Sprint heats will be held on Bear Creek Rapid, just downstream of the Salida East Campground.
  • Wildwater Nationals Classic Races: Saturday, June 18, at 1:00 p.m. The longer "Classic Race" will start near the "F" Street Bridge, in downtown Salida, and in the finish is just below Bear Creek Rapid near the county line.
  • The Classic FIBArk Downriver Race will be on Sunday, June 19: The 26 mile Expert race begins at 11:00 and there is a 10 Mile Intermediate race from Salida to Rincon that may be more appropriate for Juniors.

AWARDS: The USA Nationals will include awards for both Juniors and Seniors in C-1, C-2, K-1, K-1 for the Sprint Races, the Classic Race, as well as the traditional National Championship award for the "Combined" winners.

SPECTATING: There are excellent opportunities for spectators along the course of all of the races. For the US Nationals, the most interesting should be Bear Creek Rapid which is accessible from Highway 50 or by traveling east from the Stockyards Bridge (County Road 102) on the railroad side of the river. The rapid can then be reached by a short walk after the one lane road ends. For the FIBArk Classic race on Sunday, the Class IV Cottonwood Rapid (which is 20 miles into the race) offers some real excitement for the exhausted boaters.

REGISTRATION: You can register at the FIBArk registration booth near the Headwaters Outdoor Center in Salida on Thursday, June 16th at between 4-6PM. But the easiest way to register is on Friday morning. There will be registration booth set up at the Salida East Campground (where the Sprint will be held) for the Nationals Events and the FIBArk Downriver on Friday June 17th from 8-10am. The Salida East Site is the put-in for the Sprint and is located just downstream (East) of Salida on Highway 50 between mile markers 224 and 225. It is 0.5 miles east of County Road 101 and 0.5 miles west of County Road 102.