Rio Grande Racecourse Half Day
Every year since it was founded in the 1950’s by a LANL employee and Los Alamos paddle boater Jim “Stretch” Fretwell, a spectacular whitewater festival draws private and professional boaters to the Rio Grande on Mother’s Day. Held on a 5 mile stretch of rapids that runs along Highway 68, known as The Racecourse, whitewater enthusiasts flock to the roadside to see the competitors in the various races, or compete themselves. Early on in the event’s history, it was supported by organizations such as Los Alamos’ Explorer Post 20, the Los Alamos Fire Department, and The Atomic City Citizens Band Radio Club. Eventually, the festival was taken over by the Adobe Whitewater Club, who oversaw it for better than 30 years. The Adobe Whitewater Club passed it to NMROA in 2008.
The festival lasts through Mother’s Day weekend, finishing on Sunday with the main event- the races! Though, there are so many great events to participate in throughout the festival, with camping, Dutch Oven cook-offs, a River Guide Rendezvous, and, a geology float featuring New Mexico’s top geologist, Paul Bauer.
Here’s the event schedule for Sunday, May 14th:
-8:00 – 10:00 AM General Race Registration. $15 for the First Race,
$5 for each race after, $45 per team of four, Rafting Race. First 75
entrants get a Festival T-Shirt
-10:00 AM – Downriver Race (meet at Quartzite)
Men’s and Women’s Division Kayak, SUP and Canoe
-12:00 PM – 2:00 PM – Geology Float with Paul Bauer, prize-winning author of the Guidebook to the Rio Grande published by NM Bureau of Geology, will lead a floating interpretive workshop on the Racecourse. Paul will be joined by several experts in archaeological and natural history topics. If geologists could be rock stars, Bauer would be the boss. His annual river trip is perennially popular with river guides and outfitters, who provide all the rafting equipment and navigational expertise. A limited number of spaces are available for members of the general public so register early.
-3:30PM – 4:00PM – Kid and Mom Tandem Race (meet at Souse Hole)
starts at Souse Hole and finishes at County Line. (Ik’s, Kayaks, SUP, Raft’s)
-5PM – 6PM Raft R-4 Downriver Race (four paddlers per boat) –
Quartzite to County Line
-6:30PM Après Race Awards & Party: Just down road from races on right
at Blue Heron Brewery.
The prices and fees are:
$15 per person for the first event (includes an event T-Shirt to first 75) $5 Each additional Event.
$45 Per Raft of 4 (R-4) for the Raft Downriver Race.
For More Information Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also check out the Facebook page for updates, developments, to connect with the NMROA whitewater community, and to check out winners of previous years here: https://www.facebook.com/mdrgwf/
New Mexico River Adventures is a proud member of NMROA, a proud competitor in the races, and we hope to see you on the Rio Grande Racecourse on Sunday, May 14th for Mother’s Day!
Rio Grande Racecourse Half Day
Rio Grande Gorge Rafting Full Day