World’s longest canoe race chases midnight sun in the Yukon Territory.
155 paddlers from all over the world – including a 24 year-old Australian – are taking their mark at the 17th annual Yukon River Quest, known as the ‘race to the midnight sun’ on June 24 2015.
Competitors from 12 countries will race the gruelling 715km (by river) from Whitehorse to Dawson City in Canada’s north-western Yukon Territory, with just 55 hours to complete the task. All teams must complete the journey before midnight on 27 June.
It’s one of the most arduous marathon events on Earth. The Yukon River Quest is the longest race of its kind, with just two mandatory rest stops along the way, and a sun that never sets. This is due to Yukon’s position 60 degrees north of the Earth’s equator.
A 24-year-old paddler from Gosford on the New South Wales Central Coast is participating in the 2015 event. He will follow in the footsteps of the Down Under Dogs (an Aussie six-man voyageur team that won the 2012 title in spectacular fashion, crossing the finish line in under 42 hours, nearly an hour ahead of the second-place finishers).
Competitors range from larger groups in voyageur canoes, to lone kayakers, each one prepared to paddle the river day and night. The teams will be vying for a share in a race purse worth approximately $21,500 (CAD) and the personal satisfaction of a much-coveted YRQ Finisher Pin.
The Yukon River Quest is supported by more than 200 volunteers and is recognised as a premier paddling race throughout the paddling world.
Along the way, participants are treated to the magnificent scenery and unspoiled nature along the historic Yukon River, one of North America’s longest, and the primary transportation route during the development of the Yukon.
Today, the Yukon River is a popular route for paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts, whether racing to the finish or enjoying its stunning wilderness at a more relaxed pace. For more information about Yukon.