Dillon Snowkite Open kicks off Friday at DYC | SummitDaily.com

Dillon Snowkite Open kicks off Friday at DYC

summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

For those looking for an alternative to making turns on the slopes or schlepping through a Nordic trail, Anton Rainold has the sport for you: snowkiting.

Because carving through the windblown snow of the Dillon Reservoir on a pair of skis or a snowboard – while holding onto a large sail – can give people that rush of adrenaline so many seek.

And for those simply looking for an entertaining sport to watch, well, Rainold has the same answer.

“It’s one of the most colorful, spectacular things you’ll see up here,” he said.

Starting Friday at the Dillon Reservoir, the sport will be on full display.

Colorado Kite Force, along with the Dillon Yacht Club, will host the inaugural Dillon Snowkite Open at the Dillon Marina.

The three-day event will consist of a long-distance race on Friday and regatta-style fleet races both Saturday and Sunday.

“We’re going to have colorful kites cruising all around the (reservoir),” said Rainold, the founder of Colorado Kite Force, which operates out of Silverthorne.

For those unfamiliar with the sport, Rainold said it’s pretty simple to understand. Snowkiting basically comes down to someone slapping on skis or a board and letting a kite carry them across the top of the snow.

While kiteboarding has become fairly common as a water sport, the winter version is just now taking off. In 2003, Rainold opened Colorado Kite Force to teach the sport. At the time, it was believed to be the only shop solely dedicated to the sport.

“I came from a sailing background,” Rainold said. “And I wanted something else to do in the winter.”

So, he opened the first site of his store in Frisco, later moving a little east to Silverthorne.

And, now, the sport will have its first major competition in Summit County this week.

There will be both ski and snowboard divisions, with racers broken down into Pro Men’s, Amateur Men’s and Women’s class categories.

Friday’s race will take competitors from the start at the Dillon Marina across the reservoir to Frisco, then up toward Farmer’s Korner and back.

The two sets of races on Saturday and Sunday will consist of a course laid out on the ice.

Friday’s opening race is expected to start at 1:30 p.m., while the races the next two days are slated to kick off at noon.

Rainold said he’s expecting between 40-60 competitors in the field and registration is still open. Racers can register Friday at the Dillon Yacht Club from 10 a.m. until noon. The cost is $50.

For more information on this weekend’s races or on the sport of snowkiting, visit coloradokiteforce.com.

Bryce Evans can be reached at (970) 668-4634 or at bevans@summitdaily.com.

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