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1000 Mile Canoe Racer’s Experiences and Insights
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1000 Mile Canoe Racer’s Experiences and Insights

Wednesday, October 13,  2010
7:15 pm
Great Lakes Aquarium

Rick Lorenzen and his canoe racing partner, “Yukon Dave” Dahl, competed in the Yukon 1000 Canoe/Kayak Race a few weeks ago, from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory to the Dalton Highway Bridge in Alaska. This was a total wilderness survival experience with no support team so they had to pack everything in bear proof canisters and bring pepper spray for protection.  Many remarkable pictures and funny stories about competing, navigating, camping, and thriving in the longest canoe race in the world.  Many of these lessons learned can be applied to everyone’s own challenging path through life.  Filled with GPS tips, canoe tips, camping tips, food tips, first aid tips, and racing tips for your wilderness trips or longer canoe/kayak races. Rick and Dave finished this race in 3rd place overall, coming in 2 hours after the 1st place ultra-marathon kayak team, and 36 minutes after an Australian canoe team.  Their total time was 7 days, 3 hours and 34 minutes with required 6 hour stops every night.  They paddled more than 16 hours a day most days and traveled between 65 to 150 miles per day (estimated 377,880 paddle strokes @ 47 strokes per minute).  GPS navigation played a big role for them since the 250 miles of Yukon River Flats are some of the most challenging braided river channels on earth. They used Google Earth to create 180 waypoints along the Yukon River and then used DNRGarmin software to load those into their GPS units.  All teams were required to carry SPOT units so they could be tracked and check in and out for required rest stops.  The SPOTs also allowed them to be able to punch the 911 button, for either an Royal Canadian Mounted Police or Alaska Trooper rescue depending on location.  This enabled KMZ files to be produced and updated every 15 minutes, so friends across the country could see the canoe locations in real time on Google Earth, plus see histograms of their speed.  The race website is:  (Google Earth links at bottom of website).

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