If you’re a paddler and it’s the month of June, then we know you’re in Colorado. Last weekend (June 2-5) the 10th annual Teva Mountain Games wrapped in Vail and upcoming this weekend (June 11th & 12th) the newly christened Rocky Mountain Surf Festival goes for the full Polynesian in Glenwood Springs. So, what if you’ve got a day job and couldn’t make it to Vail or Glenwood Springs? No worries, FIBark finishes off the tri-fecta in Salida the following week.
FIBark kicks off “America’s Oldest & Boldest Whitewater Festival” with a training sprint for the Wildwater competitions on Tuesday June 14th at 9am. The 63 year-old festival is host to the Wildwater Championships again this year, having last hosted the event in 2009. “FIBArk has proven to be a great venue for the US Wildwater Nationals,” says Andy Cora, the 2009 USA Wildwater National Champion and winner of the 2009 FIBArk Downriver Marathon. “I’m happy it is back again this year. It is the biggest gathering of Wildwater boats outside of Europe, and is the oldest, boldest race in the country. FIBArk is the perfect choice for a national competition.”
What follows over the next five days includes everything from “Yoga for Boaters” to the Wildwater Championships. Also, don’t miss the always entertaining Hooligan Race, SUP races, Freestyle Rodeo competition, and Kayak races. Each night, event sponsor New Belgium Beer has plenty of entertainment lined up, and plenty of beer on tap.
For a full list of event times and locations, check out:FIBarkSchedule
For a full list of the New Belgium Music Lineup click here:FIBarkMusic
The Downriver Marathon
As it has for the past 63 years, the cornerstone Downriver event gets started on the last day of the festival, Sunday morning. The 26 mile Wildwater Marathon event from Salida to Cotopaxi is the longest whitewater race in the United States. It’s held that title since 1949 when six boats entered the Arkansas river in Salida for what was then a 57 mile run to Canon City. The first race saw only one boat make it through the vertical cliffs of the Royal Gorge Canyon and on to the finish. The next year the race was shortened to 45 miles ending in Parkland, but again only one boat finished the race. The third time was truly a charm, shortening the race to 26 mile “marathon” course we know today.
For more information about the history of FIBark click here:FIBarkHistory