Do you really want to do this?
Whitehorse to the Alaska Pipeline/Dalton Highway
1000 Miles / 1600 Km
7 to 12 days of 18 hours solid paddling
Monday July 21, 2014
This semi-annual race is the longest canoe and kayak race in the world, by far.
The Yukon River 1000 is a LONG endurance paddling event. There weren't races in 2012 and 2013 race, but there will be one in 2014.
The weather forecast is for light southerly winds and possibly some showers. That is much better than the wind and rain we have been having. Wind on the first day is always a concern because of that Lake Laberge that can be so difficult (threatening? dangerous? Yes, all of those)
and take a look at this: July 2011 Canoe and Kayak Magazine
This race is the longest canoe and kayak race on the calendar, knocking other long races into a distant second place. The rules in 2010 were modified in light of what we learned in 2009. They are unchanged for 2011 other than some dates. They can be found here.
In 2009 the river levels were more or less normal. In 2010 the water levels were much lower, unusually low. This was reflected in the winning times: over a day longer than in 2009. The weather was nastier too, with about 300 miles of continuous heavy (cold) rain. Had we run the race in 2013, the water levels would have been wonderfully high, but there was a lot of smoke from forest fires.
In the spring it looked like 2010 was going to be a bad fire year, but that changed. The fire season was early, but not bad. 2009 was a fire year. 2010 was a rain year. What will 2014 bring? It could be wind, or it could be sun, or it even could be balanced! These are uncertainties that affect any race, but in a race of this magnitude, you have be be able to cope on your own with whatever happens out there.
2010The 2010 race was marked by teams dropping out. We had one team scratch ar Carmacks, with bady upset tummies. Then three teams dropped out in Dawson. The teams that did remain in the race were all fast, and the race could have gone to any of them. Eventually it was won by the two Australian buddies solo boats, with an Australian canoe not far behind, and another Canoe not far behind them. All the boats came in within 30 hours of the winners, a remarkably tight race. In 2009, the teams were spread out over a week!
Go to River stories for more on how the Yukon 1000 unfolded in 2010. If you were a racer, please feel free to contribute your race stories.
The race is run. You can see the results from last year, and the daily reports, in the history section. The weather was insanely generous to the extent that I worry that the racers will not realise just how lucky they have been.
The 2009 race was a great success. Some photos of the racers have been posted in the gallery, and there are a couple of YouTube videos that are really worth looking at.
Well done Rob and Russ, and Richard and Henry, first place kayaks and overall winners, and Ardie and Rod, 1st place Canoe, and Kerry, Paul, Holly, Mike, Matt, Teresa and Brian in the Voyageur and everyone who took part in the 2009 race.
Next year's race will be held on the 18th of July. Registration is now open. The registration software has been rewritten, and you now create a sort of account with your team name and a password. This means you can come back later and change or add to your entry, adding details, photos, whatever.
In 2010 only two new course records were set: fastest buddied solo team (well they were the first such team to enter), and fastest "Red Lantern" team. I suspect both records will stand for a while.
Take a look at the Yukon 1000, Yukon 360 shop, you can buy mugs, T shirts, race shirts, and our beautiful posters. We no longer have any 2009 race shirts. But we do still have some 2010 shirts: these are wonderful synthetic tee shirts with a map of the race on the back and the logo on the front. The map on the back does not qualify as a river map for racing purposes, but is there to enhance your bragging!
The Race starts in Whitehorse and continues down river all the way to the Alaska Pipeline Bridge on the Dalton Highway, 1000 miles, 1600 Kilometres downstream. Dawson is not even halfway!
This race is held in the same spirit of the 20th century explorer prizes: the first to fly the English Channel, the first to fly the Atlantic. No one expected the Daily Mail or Raymond Orteig (who offered the prizes) to provide any safety cover. Teams should enter the race in that in mind. We provide the frame work of the race, we provide monitoring and presentation of the progress of teams, and that is where our responsibilities end. Each team should think of itself as being on a self sufficient expedition.
We have a travel deal in place with Air North that gives competitors and their support crews 10% off the price of their tickets. Air North flies to Whitehorse from Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. They also fly between Whitehorse, Dawson and Fairbanks. Contact us for information on how to take advantage of this offer.
Registration for the Yukon 1000 officially opens on 1 Sept, and the entry software turned out not to work on Internet Explorer (IE bug, not mine... given a choice use a real browser like Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome). Despite that, we already have our first team sign up. Welcome back Sandra!
The FAQ, rules, waiver, and 5 fingers pages have been rejigged so they print nicely. the FAQ prints very well "2 up". I printed it in "booklet" format, but my printer is clever that way.
The Yukon 1000 is made feasible by new technology. In the past, putting on a race of any length has required a small army of volunteers to man checkpoints. But this race will be using the Spot devices ( findmespot.com). These devices are little boxes a about the size of a Garmin ETrex GPS, have no display and only 4 buttons. Inside, they have a GPS receiver and a Sat phone messenger. You push a button, and it sends a little message from almost anywhere in the world telling those you want to know where you are and if you are OK. In addition, these devices come with a panic button and $100,000 of rescue insurance. This is a completely new way of running a race that has not been possible before.
This race is long. We anticipate the leaders taking 6 to 8 days to complete the course, depending on weather. We want to prevent racers from being "overenthusiastic" and paddling all night so we will require each boat check in every evening before 11:15, and again in the morning FROM THE SAME PLACE at least six hours later. This enforces a night time stop for each boat.
The race will be open to tandem canoes and kayaks, voyageur canoes, and pairs of solo canoes and kayaks. Solo boats must travel together and must camp together each night. The river is too big and the race too lonely to allow solo competitors.
The entry fee is $250 Canadian per paddler, so that's $500 Canadian for a pair of buddied solos or a tandem kayak or a tandem canoe.