One of Colorado’s most renowned kayaking events was canceled today after the organizers lost their event insurance.
At the Gore Canyon Festival in 2022, paddlers ought to have entered the Class V race this weekend. American Whitewater, the event’s organizer, obtained race insurance in May; however, the insurance provider just last week informed American Whitewater that it no longer offers insurance for Class IV and Class V whitewater events. The decision to cancel the race was made by the organizers with limited time before the event.
“Though we’ve tried incredibly hard, the information about the lack of coverage was shared too late for American Whitewater to vet and find alternative coverage for the race this weekend,” the group said in an official statement.
The Gore Canyon Festival will proceed.
The excitement of witnessing kayakers navigate Class V rapids will no longer be present, but the festival will still continue on. The present policy will continue to cover the downriver SUP race and the freestyle competitions.
This Saturday, August 27, is the SUP race, and Sunday is the freestyle competition. Both activities begin at the Pumphouse Recreation Site, which is close to Gore Canyon Whitewater Park.
The Gore Canyon Festival is not only a chance to gather with boaters from across Colorado and neighboring states but also to celebrate a river core to the stewardship work of the Southern Rockies program,” wrote Hattie Johnson, the Southern Rockies Stewardship Director for American Whitewater.
Organizers Request Help; Provide Refund Information
Refunds will be given to those who previously paid to take part in the Gore Race. However, the occasion also acts as a significant American Whitewater fund-raiser. An American Whitewater membership, for instance, is included with race registration. Requests for partial refunds will cover all but $25 of the registration charge, which is the membership fee, for those who are still interested in signing up.
Additionally, the hosts urged visitors to think about finding additional methods to help the cause.
The silent auction is still live online and provides another opportunity to continue to help us fill the funding gap that this cancellation will leave,” the group said.
The auction items can be picked up this weekend at the Pumphouse, according to the organizers. The Bureau of Land Management is in charge of overseeing the Pumphouse Recreation Site (BLM).
According to the event’s organizers, the BLM also offered a welcome guide to help attendees find camping and pay the necessary costs.
If you choose to enter Gore Canyon, please note that there will not be a safety team in place and you are doing so at your own risk,” American Whitewater said. “We deeply appreciate your understanding of these unfortunate circumstances and hope that we will still see you on the river this weekend.”
Is Gauley Fest Cancelled?
What does this mean for Gauley Fest is one concern that east coast boaters must have, but it is not addressed in the story. The future of this class V event is uncertain with only three weeks till the start of the greatest white water festival in the world, which takes place in Summersville, West Virginia.
Except for the last two years due to concerns over COVID 19, the event has always taken place on the third weekend in September. With the most recent information, it seems likely that American Whitewater may have to pull out of Gauley fest for the third year in a row. Sources tell us that they are actively looking for another insurance provider. If they don’t find one, Gauley will still take place. It’s always better with the organization and support of AWA, but we will be there one way or another.
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