Another loud explosion. We looked at each other with a mix of excitement and fear, and we wondered what was waiting for us at the top…
We were hiking the ridge of Mount Yasur on the island of Tanna, one of 83 outposts in the South Pacific that form the nation of Vanuatu. Yasur is one of the world’s few active volcanoes considered “safe” to view up close; we were still two hoars from the top but already the mountain was making thunderous, frightening sounds.
As we walked, I reflected on how we had gotten to that point… → READ MORE
Good morning and welcome to your breakfast briefing for Thursday, November 1.
In honour of Larry Cain’s fifth-straight Chattajack crown last Saturday, today we’re chatting winning streaks. → READ MORE
As paddlers were standing on the shores of Molokai last Sunday morning, staring out at Oahu in the distance and preparing for one of the most challenging races of the year, Bart de Zwart and Ike Frans were taking their final strokes along a very different, much less fabled but far more difficult course.
On Sunday morning Alaska time, just 45 minutes before the start of Molokai2Oahu, Bart and Ike crossed the line to win the Yukon 1000, a mind-boggling race through some of the most remote territory on the planet. They’d been paddling since early Saturday …of the previous week.
After 8 days, 1 hour and 42 minutes, Bart and Ike won the world’s longest canoe race, an epic, 1609 kilometre-long adventure that stretches from Canada’s Yukon territory across the U.S. border into Alaska. The “race” (perhaps *odyssey* is a more fitting description) is an extraordinary test of both physical and mental strength, with competitors paddling 18 hours per day and almost zero human interaction except for their single team mate. → READ MORE
Boss Man’s note: We’ve got one last race to finish the year, and it seems we’ve saved the best – or at the very least: the toughest – for last. IRONMANA is a week-long, multi-discipline race in the postcard-perfect Tahitian islands. This year the event moved from Bora Bora to the equally epic Huahine, and once again it’ll feature a smorgasbord of tough racing including SUP, prone, outrigger and swimming.
We call it “Five Days of Pain in Paradise,” and over the next week we’ll take you inside the belly of the beast with daily updates and insights from Starboard veteran Bart de Zwart. → READ MORE
Few paddlers have covered as many miles as Bart de Zwart, the undisputed king of endurance paddling and a vetrean of virtually every ultra long distance race in the world. Bart was back in action again last weekend, where he joined over 500 other brave paddlers to tackle the almighty Tennessee River Gorge as part of the Chattajack race.
It would be an understatement to say that Chattajack was a tough one this year, with freezing cold temperatures and driving rain forcing more than five dozen paddlers to retire mid-race. Bart held on for a runner-up finish (his third straight) behind four-time champ Larry Cain; here’s how it felt out on the river. → READ MORE
In brief: Larry Cain has once again edged out Bart de Zwart to win the almighty Chattajack race in Tennessee, with the Canadian claiming his fourth-straight title in what has grown into one of the world’s largest races.
More than 500 paddlers took on the 31 mile odyssey down the beautiful Tennessee River Gorge, with the former canoe gold medalist extending his winning streak and relegating Bart to a third-straight runner-up finish. Conditions were cold, wet and challenging this year, though a solid downstream current did provide some relief. → READ MORE
Nine brave paddlers have survived gale force winds and extreme exhaustion to complete the epic, 200+ kilometre “Non-Stop” 11 City Tour around the Dutch province of Friesland this week, as finishing times ranged from 24 to 32 hours while several others were forced to abandon their quests.
Dutchman Niek van der Linde won in a remarkable time of 23 hours 59 minutes and 48 seconds, coming home almost an hour ahead of 11 Cities veteran and pre-race favourite Bart de Zwart, while Frenchman Olivier Darrieumerlou finished runner-up for the second time after completing his odyssey in 24 hours 14 minutes.
Former champion of the five-day race Janneke Smits was the sole woman to finish the non-stop challenge this year, crossing the line after 31 cold and grueling hours out on the water. → READ MORE
Recently Chris from SUP Racer asked me “Why do you do it?” Why do I paddle these ultra endurance races and expeditions? What’s the motivation?
With races like the Yukon River Quest, easily one of the longest races and most demanding races in the world at 715km (444 miles), you really have to ask yourself this question: “Why?” → READ MORE
After overcoming extreme sleep deprivation and the sheer remoteness of the Canadian wilderness, endurance king Bart de Zwart reached the northern frontier town of Dawson at 2:16am local time Saturday morning to officially complete the 2017 Yukon River Quest, crossing the line after 52 hours and 16 minutes of paddling to set a new race record and claim line honours for the small but very bold stand up paddling division.
Following more than two and a half days of racing, which included the 52 hours on the water plus an additional 10 hours of mandatory minimum rest at the two break points (7 and 3 hours, respectively), Bart finished this ultra-ultra-marathon two and a half hours faster than his winning time from last year. → READ MORE
The 2017 Yukon River Quest, arguably the toughest, craziest and most extraordinary race in the world of paddling, is set to begin today in the Canadian wilderness, with eight bold and adventurous stand up paddlers joining dozens of canoe and kayak competitors for the 715km (444 mile) odyssey along the infamous Yukon River.
With finishing times estimated between a staggering 50 and 84 hours (the latter being the official cut off), the Yukon River Quest is by far the longest annual paddle race* anywhere on planet Earth. → READ MORE
In brief: James van Drunen and Emma Reijmerink have taken out the 2017 “Battle of the Coast” in the Netherlands–aka the Dutch National Championship event that serves as the qualifier for the ISA Worlds in Denmark later this year.
With strong winds in the coastal town of Zandvoort helping the event live up to its “Battle” name, James, the rising junior prospect from Team Mistral, took out both the beach race and downwinder ahead of seasoned veterans Bart de Zwart and Martijn van Deth, while Emma made it a clean sweep ahead of Petronella van Malsen. → READ MORE
The long-reigning king of endurance paddling, Bart de Zwart, has achieved another major milestone in his extraordinary paddling career, setting a new 24 hour world record in Switzerland this week after overcoming a late-night storm and strong winds that almost forced him to abandon his quest.
The humble Dutchman, famous for his incredible paddling expeditions and crossings (not to mention winning virtually every endurance race in the sport), completed a mammoth 193.8kms (123.4 miles) after paddling all day and all night around a lake near the Swiss town of Erlach. → READ MORE
Larry Cain has won Tennessee’s 31 mile Chattajack race, aka the “Inland Molokai”, for the third year in a row, outlasting Bart de Zwart in a repeat of last year’s result to claim victory in 5 hours, 14 minutes.
After the 2015 race was decided in a sprint to the line, the 1984 Olympic canoeing Gold Medalist broke free well before the finish to secure a big win, coming home 11 minutes clear of his Starboard teammate. → READ MORE
Bart de Zwart has continued to cement his reputation as one of the
craziest most inspiring paddlers in the world, taking out the 92km Great Glen Paddle in Scotland last weekend and setting yet another ultra long distance race record in the process.
To put the race in perspective, Bart won in 10 hours 50 minutes, which was a record fast time for this course; some of the other paddlers were out there for 15 or 16 hours.
Click through to read Bart’s race recap… → READ MORE
The undisputed king of ultra long distance paddling, Bart de Zwart, has done it again. Not long after his victories in the Yukon (715km) and Missouri (547km), and literally straight off the back of his 200+ km effort in the Netherlands last week, Bart has just taken out the Muskoka River X race in Ontario, Canada. Again. → READ MORE
In brief: Fresh off his tour of the 11 cities in Holland, Mr. Endurance Bart de Zwart is already on to his next challenge: the Muskoka River X race in Canada this weekend.
This will be the fourth event in a six-race series of the world’s longest stand up paddle races that Bart is completing this year. His tour started in June with the beyond-comprehension 715km epic voyage along the Yukon River in Canada, before hitting an even greater challenge, the absolute non-stop MR340 race along the Missouri River (547kms). → READ MORE
Boss Man’s note: Yesterday I previewed the SUP 11 City Tour, aka “The Ultimate Challenge”, the classic five day stage race that begins tomorrow in the Netherlands. It’s one of the grandest events in the world of stand up paddling.
But while I’ve had a bit of experience with this race myself, absolutely nobody can match the experience of Bart de Zwart, the four-time champion who tomorrow will line up for his eighth-straight 11 City Tour; he’s been there every year since this race began way back in 2009. So on the eve of the race, I asked Bart to share some of his personal insights into what makes this race unique and special. Here’s what he had to say… → READ MORE
Bart de Zwart, Joanne Hamilton-Vale and 14 other bold stand up paddlers have survived extreme heat and a serious lack of sleep to conquer the MR340, a 547km (340 miles) race along the Missouri River.
With just 16 days rest following his epic conquest of the Yukon River, Bart continued his series of ultra long distance events – aka the world’s longest SUP races – by winning the 11th annual MR340, a race he described as the toughest he’s ever done. → READ MORE
Boss Man’s note: It’s only been 16 days since Bart de Zwart became the first ever SUP champion of the almighty Yukon River Quest, the 715km (444 mile) voyage through the Canadian wilderness, yet he’s already on to his second race of the ultra long distance season, the 547km (340 mile) “MR340” in Missouri, which begins tomorrow morning (Tuesday 19th).
On the eve of the race, here’s what the Starboard team rider had to say about his next epic challenge… → READ MORE
What’s it like to paddle 55 hours through the Canadian wilderness, at race pace and with virtually no sleep? Just ask Bart de Zwart, winner of last week’s Yukon River Quest.
Bart, the first ever stand up paddle champion of the world’s longest annual paddle race, has just returned to civilisation, and now you can read his interesting insights into this truly epic voyage. → READ MORE