A kayak race with a difference

Desert Winds Adventure Races is a company we have talked about before, run and managed by an able team who not only organise race events but participate in theirs’ and other adventure races worldwide. True aficianado’s and lovers of the sport.

The team Yoga Slackers have this to say of them:  “Desert Winds is one of those fantastic race organizations that I love to find.  Robert and his son Druce are fantastic racers in their own right, and have travelled the world competing in races from sprint length to Expedition – and it is clear that they pay attention to what works – especially in terms of the “adventure” part of Adventure racing.  These are races designed for racers – raw, rough and real.  We are excited to keep coming back.”

And this time they have come up with something new. Not adventure racing as we are used too, but a marathon canoe and kayak race.

Starting at 5 a.m. on 17th July will be 3 races, so take your pick:

18 Mile Challenge – South Cove to Temple Bar
Start at South Cove, finish at Temple Bar.
1 PM July 17 cut-off (8 hours).

38 Mile Challenge – South Cove to Echo Bay
Start at South Cove, to Temple Bar, to Echo Bay.
9 PM July 17 cut-off (16 hours).

85 Mile Ultra Challenge – South Cove to Boulder Harbor
Start at South Cove, to Temple Bar, to Echo Bay, to Callville Bay, finish at Boulder Harbor.

5 PM July 18 cut-off (36 hours)

Lake Mead  Challenge

Lake Mead National Recreation Area is known for its mild winters, hot summers and spectacular scenery. Many people come to relax and recreate in the land of the sun, and others come to do something completely different… a marathon kayak race for example.

In the words of the organisers: Paddling on Lake Mead in July is paddling on big open water, in extreme desert heat, in remote areas of desert wilderness, and with the potential of big winds, big waves, thunderstorms, poisonous snakes, scorpions, fire ants, and killer bees.

The rules are simple:

  1. Progress from start to finish via your course’s checkpoints finishing by the stated cut-off times.
  2. No outside or pre-arranged assistance is allowed.
  3. Support is required for drop off and or pick up at start, finish, or at a checkpoint if you’re dropping out of the race

If you intend entering this race with an expedition canoe or kayak then it is worth being aware of a few rules and regulations.This is a canoe/kayak race so it should be obvious that human propulsion is the name of the game which means restricting you to the use of single and double bladed paddles. However, limited means of downwind propulsion will be allowed in the form of a supporting mast and sail, but it must be removable and stowable, and the same goes for kites. Downwind rigs are strictly limited to 1 square meter per paddler. Doubles may use one or two sails or kites as long as the combined area does not exceed 2 square meters.

If entering in a racing kayak or canoe then you are restricted to single and double bladed paddles. No pedal drives, no oars, no kites, no energy storage devices of any kind will be allowed. Sail rigs of any kind will be strictly prohibited.

The cost of entering is $100 and if you want to go sign up now, I suggest you follow this link directly to the Desert Winds website.

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