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World’s longest annual canoe race sparks international interest

May 24, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

The 16th annual Yukon River Quest is set to draw thousands of canoeists, kayakers and spectators from around the world as the ‘race to the midnight sun’ sets sail from 25 – 29 June 2014.

Recognised as one of the toughest adventure marathon events on the planet, the Yukon River Quest is the longest race of its kind in the world, at 715 kilometres, with just two mandatory rest stops.aaa2333

Australian paddlers are no strangers to this event; the Down Under Dogs, an Aussie six-man voyageur team, won the 2012 title in spectacular fashion, crossing the finish line in under 42 hours, nearly an hour ahead of the second-place finishers.

Held on the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson City, in Canada’s Yukon Territory, this is one race that’s not for the faint hearted. Paddling the river day and night under a sun that never sets, competitors range from larger groups in voyageur canoes, to lone kayakers.

“The Yukon River Quest draws participants from all over the world,” said Jeff Brady, spokesperson for the Yukon River Marathon Paddlers Association. “It’s a tough test of stamina and strength, both mental and physical.”

“Last year, 62 teams from nine countries competed, with 49 of them crossing the finish line at the historic ‘City of Gold’, Dawson City.”

Cash prizes and special awards are up for grabs, with the winning record held by Canadian voyageur Team Kisseynew’s time of just over 39.5 hours.

“All teams must finish within 55 hours to qualify for prize money, but most are in it for the personal satisfaction of finishing this gruelling race,” says Mr Brady.

The Yukon River Quest is supported by more than 200 volunteers and is widely recognised as a premier paddling race throughout the paddling world. Along the way, participants are treated to the magnificent scenery and unspoiled nature along the historic Yukon River, one of North America’s longest and the primary transportation route during the development of the Yukon.

Today, the Yukon River is a popular route for paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts, whether racing to the finish or at a more relaxed pace.  For more information about the Yukon, see #ExploreYukon #ExploreCanada

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