The Yukon 1000 is the longest canoe and kayak race in the world, by Far! This is no ordinary race, it is best described as a self supported expedition race. There are no stages or checkpoints, all competitors are alone and completely self sufficient. This race is held in the same spirit as the early 20th century expeditions, such as the first to fly across English Channel, or the first to fly across the Atlantic, no one is expected to provide any safety cover. Teams enter the race with that in mind.
Starting in Whitehorse Canada, all the way to the Alaska Pipeline / Dalton Bridge in Alaska, 1000 miles / 1600km downstream. It is expected to take anywhere between 7 and 12 days of continuous paddling for up to 18 hours a day. Competitors are expected to kayak approximately 200km each day, which requires extreme endurance, a strong mind with the ability to be totally self sufficient in treacherous rives and inhospitable elements.
A too scale representation of the Yukon 1000
The Yukon is a big, wild, exposed and extremely remote river where you often experience all 4 seasons in the space of a few hours. The river can get rough, one can experience cold heavy rain, for days, and retreat may not be possible. Food supplies are required for 3 weeks in case of poor weather.
Apart from the weather, there are the Bears and the Mosquitos! While you are safe from both out on the river, it is a different story when on shore for the night. Bears may be few and far between, but pose the obvious risk. The mosquitoes on the other hand are out there by the millions and there is no escaping them!
The Yukon 1000 is about physical and mental endurance as well as personal triumph. The victory is in the sense of achievement. After the race you just submit your time, congratulate yourself, get the gear and head on home.