The Yukon 1000: Adventure Paddling Race!

The Yukon 1000 Canoe and Kayak Race is an entirely new paddling adventure race that will get underway next summer. Starting on July 20th, 2009, and running 7 to 12 days, paddlers will set out from Whitehorse, in the Yukon of Canada, and ending in Alaska at the Alaska Pipeline Bridge, on the Yukon River.

The official website has more information about the event, which will use the Yukon River Quest and the Florida Water Tribe as qualifying races. Paddlers can expect to be in their boats for up to 18 hours per day, through very remote backcountry. They’ll need to carry their gear with them as they go, including 45 pounds of food, as well as all of their camping gear for nights in the wilderness.

The region is so remote, that solo competitors are not allowed to travel alone. The race is open to tandem canoes and kayaks, as well as pairs of solo kayakers, but no one is permitted to travel or camp alone. Registration is already open, and seven teams have already signed up for the inaugural event. If you’re interested in joining the race, you’ll find the official rules here and the participation waiver here.

The racers will each be carrying a SPOT Satellite Messenger with them, that will allow those of us following along at home to track their progress and cheer on the teams. SPOT is quickly becoming the defacto standard for tracking adventure racers, and I can tell you from first hand experience, that the little orange device has already fundamentally changed the way that these races are followed by fans.

This looks like another really cool and challenging event. I can’t wait to see how it plays out next summer.

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