REPLAY: Chased by the Midnight Sun WATCH PARTY with Bart de Zwart

[FULL REPLAY] Bart de Zwart and I hosted a special screening of the Yukon River Quest documentary “Chased by the Midnight Sun” today, including some bonus commentary and behind-the-scenes stories. Thanks to everyone who tuned in from around the world to watch — hope it gave you a little quarantine entertainment and motivation!

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Paddlecast #19: Watch party preview with “King of the Ultras” Bart de Zwart

“King of the Ultras” Bart de Zwart joins us from Maui to preview tomorrow’s Midnight Sun watch party and chat about the raw attraction of paddling the Yukon River.

Join us tomorrow for a special screening of our Yukon River Quest documentary with bonus commentary from Bart and I. We’ll be live-streaming “Chased by the Midnight Sun” on the SUP Racer Facebook page and adding our comments/stories as we all watch it together.    → READ MORE

Okay virus, now it’s personal – the ‘Yukon River Quest’ just got cancelled…

Ok, virus, now it’s personal 😑

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

Chased by the Midnight Sun – The Story of the Yukon River Quest (NOW STREAMING)

 

 
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…

 
 
Enjoying the film? Subscribe to SUP Racer’s YouTube channel “Paddlecast” for weekly podcast updates and insights from your favourite paddlers.

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Chased by the Midnight Sun: The documentary about Canada’s 715km-long ‘Yukon River Quest’ is finally complete


 
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

‘Chased by the Midnight Sun’ — the story of the Yukon River Quest — premieres early December

TRAILER: "Chased by the Midnight Sun"

"Chased by the Midnight Sun" ☀️The story of the Yukon River Quest — premieres 20 November 🎥 [update: we're now launching on 25 November] I'm very excited to share this documentary about our three-day, 715km odyssey through the Canadian wilderness. Endless days, sleepless nights and mild hallucinations… The full movie drops in a couple of weeks but here's a little teaser trailer about our descent into madness 😵

Posted by SUP Racer on Thursday, 7 November 2019

The Yukon River Quest — aka “715km of dehydration, hallucinations and days that never end” — is a mind-bogglingly crazy race experience that pushes paddlers beyond their known limits both physically and mentally.

So we decided to make a movie about it.

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 20th 25th of November soon 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 2020 Yukon River Quest sold out in just 12 hours (but you can still join the waiting list)

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

Ultra PSA: You’ve got about 24 hours to sign up for the 2020 Yukon River Quest

Public Service Announcement: Entries for the 2020 Yukon River Quest open this Friday (1 November) and are expected to fill up within hours.

So even though we’re still eight months from race day, if you’re considering entering this epic adventure then get ready to throw your hat in the ring within the next 72 48 24 hours.

UPDATE: ENTRIES OPEN   → READ MORE

Paddlecast #002: Bart de Zwart (The Yukon Episode)

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

The Yukon River Quest: 715km of dehydration, hallucinations and days that never end

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

Yukon River Quest: Quick highlights reel

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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

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71 hours later… The Yukon River Quest is complete.

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

715kms down a cold river in Canada: When/where/how to follow the Yukon River Quest

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

This is the ‘Yukon River Quest’ (OR: “Why am I paddling 715km down a cold river in Canada?!”)

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

Bart de Zwart’s Yukon River Quest insights: ”You go places in your mind you didn’t know existed.”

Yukon River Quest

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

Bart de Zwart Completes the Epic ‘Yukon River Quest’ in Record Time of 52 Hours (UPDATED)

Bart-de-Zwart-Yukon-River-Quest-2017After 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

Yukon River Quest: The Longest, Craziest, Most Epic Race in the World Starts TODAY

Yukon River Quest 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