It’s been more than a week since we finished the Yukon River Quest and I still can’t feel one of my big toes. Apparently nerve damage is a standard result of paddling three days, three nights and 715km (444 miles) down a long, cold river in Canada. My toe should “thaw out” in a month or two, but I’ll have to wait another 12 months to experience the Yukon again.
And that’s the craziest thing about this race: despite going through a torturous test of sleep deprivation, dehydration and hallucinations, I have an overwhelming desire to do it all again. There’s something addictive about these ultras.
The Yukon River Quest is so much more than just a race, and therein lies its appeal. It’s part-race, part-adventure, part-journey into your own mind and beyond. It’s both marvelous and miserable, beautiful and boring, fascinating and fucking difficult. And it all takes place in one of the most breathtakingly-remote parts of the world you’re ever likely to visit. → READ MORE
We made it! I’m not sure how, and I’m still not entirely sure why, but I finished the 715km Yukon River Quest alongside half a dozen other stand up paddlers and scores of crazy canoe and kayak competitors.
We had headwind, we had hypothermia, and we had one hell of a long paddle down a river in Canada. The Yukon River Quest is more than just a race, it’s an adventure. It’s a total trip that’ll stretch your body and mind far beyond its comfortable borders.
We’ll have more coverage in the coming days, but for now here are the final times of the SUP finishers. → READ MORE
Welcome to the Yukon River Quest aka “Why are we paddling 715km down a cold river in Canada?!”
Over the next three days, Bart de Zwart and myself, along with eight other stand up paddlers and hundreds of canoe/kayak competitors will be attempting to conquer the mighty Yukon River in ultra-remote, north-west Canada. Known as the “Race to the Midnight Sun,” the YRQ is the longest annual paddling race in the world.
Here’s how to follow… → READ MORE
In exactly seven days’ time, I will be paddling down a long, cold river towards the village of “Carmacks” in Canada’s wild and remote Yukon Territory in desperate search of rest.
If all goes according to plan, I will have already been on the water for more than 24 hours at that point, paddling all through the night of Wednesday 26 June. However I’ll still only be about one third of the way towards my final destination of “Dawson” in the far north.
Carmacks is the first of two rest stops along the 715km (444 mile) course of the Yukon River Quest, the world’s longest annual paddle race and an almighty challenge both physically and mentally.
I’ll be joined on that cold river in Canada next week by ten other stand up paddlers and scores of kayak and canoe competitors for the 21st running of the “Race to the Midnight Sun,” an event that has become something of a mythical beast in the world of paddling. The word “Quest” in the race title is very fitting in my opinion. This isn’t just a race, it’s an odyssey.
So after covering the race from the comfort of my laptop for the past few years, I’m nervously-excited to say that I’ll be taking part in this year’s challenge, and we invite you to virtually join us on this crazy adventure.
Though at this point you might be asking yourself the same question I’ve been contemplating the past few days: “Why on earth are you doing this?” → READ MORE
The Paddle League is for the kids, the pros and the average joes. It’s for the grassroots and the mass starts. It’s for the dark horses and golden buoys. It’s for the sprints, the ultras, the BOPs and the bumps. It’s for the events, the fans, the media and the brands. It’s for the future.
The Paddle League is for the sport.
What should the future of stand up paddling look like? Take a look at The Paddle League Manifesto to find out why we believe stand up paddling is an open sport that should be promoted in an open way. There’s a good glimpse of what The League will look like in 2019 and beyond…
The beauty of stand up paddling is that it’s a sport for everyone.
Very few sports let anyone stand on the same start line as the world’s best athletes and race the same course using the same equipment. SUP is pretty damn awesome in that respect. We’re like the Boston Marathon of the ocean.
But our sport is often not marketed that way… → READ MORE
I built the SUP Racer World Rankings six years ago.
I had the idea even before I had this blog, scribbling down notes as far back as 2010. I started working on the current system in 2013, and a year later – on the eve of the infamous Battle of the Paddle @ Salt Creek – I launched the World Rankings for the paddling world to enjoy.
It’s definitely been a labour of love: The system took over a year to build and I’ve spent another 2,500 hours maintaining it, while the master spreadsheet now contains a mind-boggling 2.6 million cells of data (my eyes hurt just thinking about it). → READ MORE
Here’s your breakfast briefing for Tuesday, November 6. → READ MORE
Good morning and welcome to your breakfast briefing for Wednesday, October 31.
“Brekkie Bites” is your daily news summary from the world of SUP. Here’s the latest… → READ MORE
Czech Republic RIVER RACE! (GoPro POV)
Good times at the Krumlovsky vodacky maraton in the Czech Republic last week! More than 1,300 paddlers hit the water for a crazy fun river race — add it to your bucket list in 2019 (Oct. 12). Thanks to the local crew David, Lucie and Peter for showing me a good time and lending me a "Puma" from NSP – Surf and Stand Up Paddle Boards — hope I didn't put too many dings in it
Posted by SUP Racer on Monday, October 22, 2018
I was lucky enough to experience a very special race in the Czech Republic last week thanks to NSP and The Paddle League.
The Krumlovsky River Race is a unique event featuring over a thousand paddlers and one super fun stretch of river. The 25km, downriver course features half a dozen “weirs” that turn this into a whitewater rodeo and, at least on the bigger ramps, provide the amazing feeling of paddling downhill.
With a GoPro in my mouth, I thought I’d share this little highlights reel from my run on the NSP Puma (the 14′ by 23.5″ race board handled surprisingly well in the river). Hope you enjoy, and apologies for the awkward heavy breathing…
Add this event to your bucket list next year: October 12, 2019.
Good morning and welcome to “Brekkie Bites” #001.
The SUP world moves fast, but SUP Racer has been slower than ever lately. Partly because I invested my energy in The Paddle League, partly because my posts are just way too long (and time consuming).
It’s been a little frustrating.
SUP Racer’s mission has always been to keep a finger on the pulse and share the news fast, so instead of waiting til I’ve written the perfect post, now I’m simply going to post a daily briefing around breakfast time (“brekkie” in Aussie slang). → READ MORE
In brief: Lincoln Dews has claimed The Paddle League World Title after an extraordinary weekend of racing.
Lincoln survived a scare from Brazilian darkhorse Guilherme dos Reis to claim the overall Pacific Paddle Games crown, while the Aussie underdog also benefited from Guilherme and Arthur Arutkin knocking Boothy off the podium.
That combination setup a fairy-tale finish to the season for the DEEP/Quickblade team rider, who now etches his name in the history books as the first ever Paddle League Men’s World Champion.
More to come…
In brief: Brazil’s Eri Tenorio has finished the season with yet another win on The Paddle League regional series, taking out the Chucktown Showdown in Charleston, South Carolina ahead of former Olympian Tommy Buday Jr. The win is Eri’s fourth of the season, matching his performances at the Bay Bridge Paddle, Battle of the Blueway and Stand Up for the Hooch.
His smart schedule of events sees Eri finish well inside the top 30 on The Paddle League World Rankings. → READ MORE
Full results from this morning’s distance race here at the Pacific Paddle Games in California.
Lincoln Dews has put himself in the box seat to win both the overall PPGs title and The Paddle League WORLD TITLE after pulling clear of arch-rival Michael Booth to claim this morning’s 40-minute long-distance-sprint race. → READ MORE