The Yukon River Quest, the longest annual canoe and kayak race anywhere in the world, will officially get underway tomorrow at noon local time at Rotary Peace Park in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory in Canada. The race will consist of teams and solo racers, covering more than 460 miles on the remote and stunningly beautiful Yukon River between Whitehorse and Dawson City.
This year’s race will have 77 teams in the field and another 30 solo racers, including defending champ Brad Pennington, hitting the water as well. Last year Brad finished the entire course in a little more than 44 hours, which is an impressive time to cover 460 miles in a kayak.
For the first time ever, the race will start at Rotary Peace Park in Whitehorse. In the past, it has gotten underway on Main Street, with the racers running down the road to reach their boats. But as the number of participants has increased, that option became more unwieldy. Instead, they’ll make the shorter run across the park this year, and make their put in from that spot instead. Watching all those men and women running to their canoes and kayaks has to be a fairly amusing sight though. 🙂
The 2009 Yukon River Quest as the potential to be one of the most competitive ever, with plenty of good paddlers in the field. If everything stays true to form, we should have a winner in by the weekend. Good luck to everyone and paddle safely.
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