Rowers Look To Set New Speed Record On Yukon River


Next Wednesday marks the start of the 2013 Yukon River Quest, an annual canoe and kayak race down the Yukon River in Canada. The course runs from White Horse to Dawson City and covers a distance 715 km (444 miles), making this the longest yearly race of its kind in the world. The grueling event is a marathon that tests the strength and endurance of everyone who enters as they face a number of challenges along the way.

The year, a two-man team of rowers has decided to challenge the speed record for the race down the Yukon. Steve Price and Colin Angus hope to beat the current time of 49 hours and 32minutes to paddle from White Horse to Dawson City. That record was set in 2008 by a six-person team paddling a voyager canoe, who actually had to take a mandatory 10 hour rest, which was included in their time. So, with that in mind, Steve and Colin are actually aiming at rowing non-stop with a target time of 39 minutes as their goal.

Since rowers aren’t allowed in the Yukon River Quest, the two men won’t actually be competing in that race. They will however be running concurrently with that competition when it gets under way next week. Because they won’t be official entrants of the YRQ, they won’t have to adhere to the mandatory 10 hour rest time either, so they intend to push on, non-stop.

They’ll be rowing a boat that was designed and built by Colin to be fast yet stable in the Class II and III whitewater they’ll face along the way. The 16-foot (4.8 meter) rowboat tips the scales at a mere 56 pounds (25.4 kg) which should hopefully make it light and fast on the water. This will be the first shakedown cruise for the vessel, which is called the Oxford Wherry.

Colin and Angus intend to row the boat non-stop with each man taking two-hour shifts. You’ll be able to track their progress via their SPOT page when they get underway next week.

Good luck guys!

Kraig Becker