Canada’s Yukon River Quest, one of the grandest adventures in the world and an event so close to my heart I spent three days paddling it and another three months making a movie about it, has been cancelled due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The mind-boggling, 715km-long race, where finishing times range from 40-70 hours, sleep is rare and wild hallucinations common, was originally scheduled for the final week of June. → READ MORE
The world’s longest paddle race, the mind-boggling Yukon 1000, which was set to take place across eight or nine days in July, has been postponed until 2021 due to fears about spreading the coronavirus in the remote Yukon communities and the health & safety of race participants. The strict measures imposed by the Canadian government and worldwide travel restrictions would have also made the event extremely difficult to run. → READ MORE
What motivates someone to paddle 715km down a long, cold and very lonely river in the Canadian wilderness? And what happens to the body and mind when they do? Follow eight stand up paddlers as they attempt the longest annual paddle race in the world, the Yukon River Quest…
It was 3am Tuesday. I’d been staring at the remote Canadian wilderness for 16 hours straight. I hadn’t slept much, and I was seriously questioning why I was doing it all in the first place. This was the Yukon River Quest, which at 715km is the longest annual paddle race on the planet. It’s a mind-bending experience that pushes the body to its limits and the mind well beyond.
But on that early Tuesday morning, I wasn’t looking at the Yukon up close: I was watching it over and over again on a computer screen. Because for the past three weeks I’ve been doing nothing but working on a documentary about one of the grandest adventures in the world of paddling.
Chased by the Midnight Sun is an hour-long tribute to the splendid beauty and sheer absurdity of the Yukon River Quest. It explores what happens to your body and mind when you paddle three days down a very long, cold and lonely river with little sleep and even less of an idea why you’re doing it to begin with.
Featuring Bart de Zwart, myself and half a dozen very bold stand up paddlers who attempted this crazy mission, the film is now finally complete, and I’d love to share it with you at the online streaming premiere on Saturday 14 March. → READ MORE
I was holding onto a rope and surfing behind the media boat when the race organiser threw me a beer. That’s an instant DQ in just about any other event (for so many reasons), yet it seemed oddly appropriate here. Because while I was technically in the middle of a “race,” the ‘SUP 11 Islands Tour’ is so much more than just a race that the term hardly applies. → READ MORE
After I (and half a dozen other crazy adventurous stand up paddlers) spent three days paddling down 715 kilometres of a very long, very cold and very lonely river, we’ve put together an hour of interviews, insights, drone footage and delirious GoPro monologues to create ‘Chased by the Midnight Sun’ — the story of our “descent into madness.”
The film premieres on the 20th25th of Novembersoon right here on SUP Racer. I’m still going through the editing process, which has now officially taken longer than the race itself. Probably early to mid December. Hope you enjoy this little trailer while you wait…
The world’s longest annual paddle race, the Yukon River Quest in Canada, has sold out in what is surely a record time.
Registration for the 2020 edition, which isn’t happening til next June, opened up last night and immediately attracted a flood of entries. There were about 80 teams signed up within the first hour and 99 after two, with international paddlers staying up late or waking up very early to secure their spot.
The 125th and final team was registered around the 12 hour mark, which is almost twice as fast as last year’s registration blitz when the YRQ filled up in just over 24 hours. → READ MORE
Apparently there’s a 50-year-old Glenfiddich single malt Scotch whiskey that sells for £30,000 a bottle. We might have to increase the budget of the Great Glen Challenge next year, because I’m pretty sure that drink was the only thing we could have offered Nessie to calm her down on Sunday.
The Loch Ness Monster was angry this year, and the mythical creature vented her fury on 70 stand up paddlers that dared enter her watery domain in the highlands of Scotland. What was forecast to be a 92km (57 mile) paddle through calm, beautiful countryside turned into a brutal test of strength, stamina and sheer grit as Nessie whipped up howling headwinds on her home waters. → READ MORE
Just when you thought the SUP racing season might be winding down, BANG!
It looks like the next two days will be the biggest weekend of the year as six international events take centre stage. From Scotland to Sardinia and Osaka to the Alps, let’s call it “Super Saturday” in September (even though one of these events insists on running Sunday).
posted by Bart de Zwart, Starboard Team Rider and SUP Explorer
For me, the “X” in this race represents the unknown; you never know what you’re going to get at Muskoka. And that was truer than ever this year, when rough weather forced organisers to cut this “ultra” short after 70% of competitors had already been forced to retire.
Muskoka is not only a paddling event, it’s a genuine adventure race. You have to navigate a labyrinth of lakes, rivers and portages using nothing but a paper map and a compass. There are three options: the 58km “Sprint”, 130km Classic and the 223km, ultra-endurance ‘Coureur des Bois’. I chose the 223. → READ MORE
Bruno Hasulyo has tightened his grip on a third SUP 11 City Tour title after once again breaking the field on the canals of Friesland. Bruno won today’s third stage by almost 10 minutes to extend his lead over the chase pack. The difference now stands at nearly half an hour–the rest of the boys are fighting for second place.
Conditions were near perfect on Friday for the “split-stage” — the day started with a 12km time trial (staggered starts, no drafting) and finished with a 30km group stage.
Lena Ribeiro from Brazil finally turned the arm-wrestle with Petronella van Malsen to her favour by gaining a minute in the TT, but the Mistral duo once again crossed the line together. It’ll all come down to Sunday’s 27km time trial.
Before then, we’ve got a 42km stage from Franeker to Dokkum on Saturday morning. Follow the race with the live GPS tracking map and regular updates on @sup11citytour Instagram.
My hands were actually OK this time. They’re usually the first thing to go. The blisters, the swelling, the cramps. But this year they escaped relatively unscathed even with a pair of cheap gloves that seemed to do more harm than good when wet.
My feet weren’t so lucky.
It was about 20 hours into the race when I realised an uncomfortable fact: I couldn’t stand up anymore. That’s a problem when you’re a stand up paddler. → READ MORE