The Iquitos Times brings us word of an exciting event soon to take place in the Peruvian Amazon:
The Amazon Rafting Club, based in Iquitos, Peru, invites rafters, canoeists, rowers, paddlers and adventurers from all over the world to compete in this year’s event. The 3 day race will start in the town of Nauta on Friday, 25th September 2009, and finish in the City of Iquitos on Sunday, 27th September 2009. Each 4 person crew will paddle a raft they built themselves the day before the race (24th September). Each raft will be constructed of lightweight balsawood logs which will be provided. Then the teams will raft down the mighty Amazon River for 112 miles. The winning crews will show excellence in raft construction, teamwork, stamina and knowledge of currents and rivers.
The Great River Amazon Raft Race In June 1998 Mike Collis moved to Iquitos from Birmingham, England, for what he thought would be a quiet life. In 1999 Mike was asked by the Director of Tourism in Iquitos if he had any ideas to promote tourism in the amazon region. Mike told him that for more than 25 years he had organized raft races in England.
The first Amazon Raft Race took place on the 29th July 1999, on the Nanay River. 43 crews competed in the 12 mile, one day race from Santa Clara to Bella Vista Nanay. The winning team completed the course in just over 2 hours and 30 minutes. The second race, one year later, was on the same course with over 60 teams from 14 different countries competing. In 2003 the course was extended to 26 miles over 2 days, from the village of Nina Rumi to Bella Vista Nanay. The winning team completed the course in 4 hours and 20 minutes.
This race format continued into 2004 and 2005 when it was decided to go for the “Big One” in 2006. This race, the first over such a distance, attracted rafters from 11 countries. The fastest foreign team led by Dale Baskin represented the South American Explorers Club in Quito, Ecuador. The 2007 Great River Amazon Raft Race attracted rafters from Australia, USA, England, Scotland, Peru, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, Holland, Germany, and Mexico. The fastest foreign team represented the False Creek Canoe Club from Vancouver, Canada. The 2008 Great River Amazon Raft Race was the first to be won by a foreign crew. David Kelly and his illustrious “Easy Living” team completed the course in a record time of only 12 hours and 19 minutes.
Find out more about the 2009 event here.