Wind will rush through your hair and icy water will spray your face at the Rocky Mountain Shootout, a two-day open regatta at the Cherry Creek Reservoir. The boat set embraces such bracing conditions. "The sailing community is surprisingly large here in Colorado," says Joe Beierl of the Denver Sailing Association, the event's sponsor. "We have a varied fleet."
Some forty boats are expected to jockey for first place during the season-opening keelboat competitions. Registration begins today at 8:30 a.m., and skippers will meet at 11 a.m., with the sails hoisted shortly thereafter; races continue through tomorrow. (The dingy fleet, made up of smaller boats like MC Scows, Lightnings and Snipes, will kick off its season with the Hornblower Regatta on May 15.)
"One thing about sailing in Colorado is that you have to be flexible," notes Beierl. "The wind is always changing direction on you mid-race."
The DSA offers weekly races on Wednesday and Thursday evenings from May 5 through Labor Day. Landlubbers are heartily encouraged to give sailing a try.
"There are almost always sailors looking for a crew," says Beierl. "Come on down to the docks and check it out. The reservoir is not real big, but what we love about it is its proximity to the city. The club has a great camaraderie; it's just a real pleasant place to spend an afternoon."
Inner-city kids don't take their soccer Saturdays for granted; there isn't always an SUV or a mom to get them there. In response to that small scrap of urban plight, the Metro Denver Sports Commission, a three-year-old local nonprofit dedicated to bringing high-profile amateur and college sporting events to the Denver area, created Sneaker Week, a youth-outreach offshoot that raises funds to send such youngsters to summer sports camps. How can you get involved? Beginning today, businesses can participate by appointing team captains and offering special incentives -- such as getting to wear sneakers to work for a day -- to employees for making small donations. Commission spokesman Ryan Findley says that 100 percent of funds collected will be earmarked for grants to such organizations as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver. It's that easy. It won't buy a kid's family that SUV, but it's an opportunity just the same. For information, call Brandon Tosti at 303-615-7490, or log on to www.denversportscommission.com. -- Susan Froyd