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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
It was fun to be back on the live stream boat! Here’s a replay of our attempt at the “World’s Longest Live Stream” during the Jersey Round Island Challenge presented by Gill Marine on Saturday.
The race was certainly an adventure, with wild winds and surging swells creating a chaotic concoction of ocean currents that forced organisers into a “Plan B” course. That became “Plan C” during the race after the coastguard shut down part of the course due to extreme conditions. → READ MORE
The “Jersey Round Island Challenge” presented by Gill Marine is a classic charity event that offers a unique ocean challenge. The traditional course would be about 55kms (34 miles) and includes some of the largest tidal currents in the world that make “navigation” just as important as strength & stamina.
But… it’s not going to be a round-island race this year. → READ MORE
I’m very excited to share the second episode of Paddlecast with you today because it features my new favourite race – The Yukon River Quest – as well as a guy I’ve got the world of respect for, Bart de Zwart.
I sat down with the four-time Yukon champion and king of endurance paddling in Canada six weeks ago to record this conversation. We go into great detail (sometimes too much detail) to describe the physical highs and mental lows of this insane, 715km race. → READ MORE
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
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HIGHLIGHTS REEL 🎬 The Yukon River Quest is three days, three nights and one crazy big adventure. It'll test you physically, it'll try to break you mentally, and it'll leave you feeling a mixture of accomplishment and relief. Add it to your bucket list for next year if you want to push yourself beyond your limits, and sign up for one of the upcoming "ultras" in Jersey, Friesland, Scotland, Ibiza and Thailand in the meantime. Welcome to The Ultra Paddle League Current event schedule: 8x races Current distance: 1654 kilometres / 1027 miles 🌍🌎🌏 Yukon River Quest 715km / 444 miles June 26-29 Yukon Territory, Canada @yukonriverquestmedia Jersey Round Island Challenge 65km / 40 miles August 31 Jersey, British Channel Islands @jerseyroundislandchallenge 11 City Tour: Non-stop 220km / 136 miles September 7-8 Friesland, Netherlands @sup11citytour 11 City Tour: Five-day 220km / 136 miles September 11-15 Friesland, Netherlands @sup11citytour Great Glen Challenge: Two-day 92km / 57 miles September 21-22 Scotland Great Glen Challenge: Non-stop 92km / 57 miles September 22 Scotland SUP 11 X: Ibiza 130km / 80 miles October 23-27 Ibiza, Spain @sup11x SUP 11 X: Thailand 120km / 75 miles Nov 27 – Dec 1 Koh Chang, Thailand @sup11x 🌏🌍🌎 We're aiming to add more great "ultra" events to The Ultra Paddle League in the coming weeks. Races such as Muskoka, MR340, AL650, Dordogne, Yukon 1000, Massive Murray, CFC, CRQ, C100 and many more are on our radar. Which other ultras would you like to see us promote? 🤔 #ultrapaddleleague @supyukon
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
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