The Great Amazon Raft Race

The Amazon Rafting Club, based in Iquitos, Peru, is once again hosting the Great River Amazon Raft Race. The three-day race will start in the town of Nauta on Friday, September 25, and finish in Iquitos on Sunday, September 27. Each four-person crew will paddle a raft they build themselves, the day before the race, from the balsawood logs that are provided. Each raft must use at least eight logs no less than five meters in length, and only single-bladed paddles are allowed.

Then the crews will raft down the Amazon for 112 miles. Teams will be judged not only on their finishing time but also on excellence in raft construction, teamwork, stamina, and knowledge of currents and rivers.

The event began in 1999, with a one-day twelve-mile race on the Nanay River. In 2003, the course was extended to twenty-six miles over two days. Finally, in 2006, the race developed into its current format, attracting competitors from Australia, USA, England, Scotland, Peru, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, Holland, Germany, and Mexico. The 2008 Great River Amazon Raft Race was the first to be won by a foreign crew — David Kelly and the Easy Living team.

The sponsoring organization, the Amazon Rafting Club, was informally formed after the 2006 race. The current president is David Kelly, the captain of the 2008 winning crew. Anyone who competes in the race becomes a member.

I just thought you would all like to know about this. It is clearly an event not to be missed.

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