GoPro Mountain Tacks on Fourth Day, Four Events
4 May, 2015
The GoPro Mountain Games are adding four new events to keep the 15-year-old event fresh, including a tandem SUP cross race and disc golf competition.
Organizers are also kicking off the festivities on Thursday, June 4, a full day earlier than last year to accomodate those who want to get the weekend going earlier.
“We experienced significantly larger crowds on Thursday last year which reflects a desire to start the weekend earlier and enjoy all that the event has to offer,” said Mike Imhof, Senior Vice President of Sales & Development at the Vail Valley Foundation. "In response to this growth and demand, we will open Gear Town, Adventure Village, and River Town on Thursday and hold a selection of events, demos, group rides and free activities. All the fun and excitement of GoPro Mountain Games now starts one day earlier."
New events being added in 2015 include the Coors Light S2 Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Cross, Coors Light Down River R2 Raft Sprint, The Tudor Ultimate River Challenge and Vibram Disc Golf.
Similar to the existing and popular SUP cross event, shown at right, the S2 SUP Cross will add a tandem component. Teams of two will battle it out head-to-head on C4 Waterman Raptor boards in this every-man/woman-for-themselves-format. The first team of two that survives the sprint through Vail Village and Vail's Whitewater Park will take the top spot on the podium. Teams must cross the finish line together, and on their boards.
Identical in format to the Down River Kayak and SUP Sprints, the R2 Raft Sprint is a four mile raft race (two person rafts) on the Class II/III whitewater of Gore Creek from East Vail to the Covered Bridge in Vail Village. With a rally race format, rafters drop at timed intervals and teams will be racing against the clock.
To complement the new water events, this year for the first time GoPro Mountain Games organizers will name an Ultimate Riverman and Ultimate Riverwoman. To be crowned victor of the Ultimate River Challenge, competitors must compete, back-to-back-to-back, in the Down River Kayak Sprint, Down River SUP Sprint and Down River R2 Raft Sprint on Gore Creek. The Ultimate Riverman & Ultimate Riverwoman will be crowned based on the lowest combined time in all three events.
And finally, a sport that previously saw casual participation, as a demo or expo village activity, will be formerly instated into the event line up as Disc Golf becomes an official competition of the GoPro Mountain Games, complete with a prize purse. Disc Golf – described most simply as traditional golf with a Frisbee®, will be offered with a GoPro Mountain Games twist. Competitors will need to survive two qualifying rounds before actually playing a round of disc golf. Qualifiers will consist of various skills competitions in the heart of Vail Village. Players with the best skills in qualifying will step up and play a round of golf to be crowned champions at a to-be-determined course.
“Though the Mountain Games is a well-established event in Vail and throughout the mountain sports community, we are constantly looking at ways to incorporate new mountain events, activities and participants,” said Imhof. “These four new events will enhance an already dynamic weekend of competing and spectating for our athletes and guests.”
Registration and lodging for the 2015 GoPro Mountain Games are available at www.gopromountaingames.com. Participants are encouraged to register early to save on costs. Spectating at the GoPro Mountain Games and all concerts are free and open to the public.