The Yukon River race is the longest annual paddle race in the world. Before, only Canoe and Kayak were allowed but now also open for Stand up paddling.
I will be checking in thru this blog about the preparation for this incredible but als gnarly race.
Signing up is the first and the easiest step. Although the organization only accepts 10 stand up paddlers based on experience.
Before signing up, check what you get into. You have to make it within 74 hrs, temperatures are between 0-20 degrees celsius, water is only 5. Hypothermia is the most common reason why people give up in this race. But my Supskin drysuit will prevent me from that. Staying to dry is the most important part.
A race like this needs preparation.
The most important is my Starboard All Star 14'x25". My can-do-all board. I use it in downwinders here on Maui, I raced it 2 weeks ago when I got 2nd in the 31 mile Chattajack and I used it the 220km Muskoka X river race. I wil have to ship it ahead of time to White horse, Canada.
The rest of my preparations:
- Read up, know what to expect. Here is were the mental preparation starts. The more you know the better you feel prepared and self assured.
- Training. although you should only do this race when you have experience in similar races, like the Muskoka X or 11-city Tour. You should train all year around. I back off in November and December to get reloaded for the next season. But it does make big difference when you keep on paddling thru the winter. I paddle train for example only 2 times a week during the off season apart from other sports I might do like MTB, surf or Windsurf. Even 2 times a week will give you a good base to work on after your winter stop.
- Gear. There is a lot of gear you need for a race like this. So you need to organize and look ahead. Get everything way before the race and try it out. From bivy bags to drysuits you have to try it before you use it in a race like this. Make a list, buy everything you need early and use it.
I will work thru these preparation step by step in this blog. But for now I am stoked already for this new challenge.