Chattanooga, TN–This summer 3 standup paddlers have decided to participate in what is called the “longest paddle race in the world,” the Yukon 1000. The purpose for the paddle is to be immersed in one of the world’s last frontiers, enjoy the adventure, and to sync with the river and nature, answering the call of the northland’s wild. The course travels 500 miles across the Yukon Territory then 500 additional miles across Alaska. After a friendly conversation with the event’s race director discussing backcountry survival, previous tundra experiences, and the nature of what is possible via standup paddling, the team received permission to participate on standup paddleboards. Until this year the event has been exclusive to canoe and kayaks.
Standup paddlers Ben Friberg (Chattanooga, TN), Kimberley Sutton (Wilmington, NC) and Patrick Broemmel (Massachusetts) will begin their journey July 21. Due to the remoteness of the Yukon River people paddling solo craft in the Yukon 1000 are required to form teams of at least 2. Ben, Kim and Patrick are a team and they are proud to serve as ambassadors for the sport of standup paddling in this adventure.
The event requires paddlers to be completely self-supported.
Team members will each carry gear in the weight range of 100lbs on their boards. Gear includes zero degree sleeping bags, 4 season tents, a shotgun, 150lbs of food, maps, a satellite phone, satellite tracking devices, GPS devices, drysuits, drybags, mosquito nets, compasses, a stove and fuel, first aid supplies, a solar charger, and more.
The group is aiming to complete the course in approximately 2 weeks. In years past the completion rate of the race has been less than 1/3. Many groups have aborted the mission at Dawson because of slow progress and/or bad weather. There are a lot of challenges to the mission including knowing how much food to take, water temperatures in the 30’s, cold air temperatures, bears, needing to navigate the Yukon Flats where the river braids, and last, but not least, the sheer remoteness of the territory covered.
About 20 paddlers are registered for this year’s 1000-mile event. Countries currently represented in the 2014 Yukon 1000 include the USA, United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, and Canada. To learn more about the SUP adventure into the northland’s wild visit www.yukonsupadventure.wordpress.com. You can learn about preparations made for the mission, gear being used, the paddlers, the race, expectations, and a link to satellite tracking devices to see where the SUPs are during the epic. The SUP team hopes to average approximately 100 miles per day once they get in sync with the river, themselves, each other, and the northland frontier.
To learn more, visit their website: yukonsupadventure.wordpress.com
Stay Tuned this July