Friday, June 9, 2017

Yukon River Quest Welcomes Back SUP Paddlers for the 19th Annual Iconic Race!

In 2016 we were very happy to have two of our sponsored athletes, +Lina Augaitis (Werner Paddles) and +Norm Hann (Kokatat) be part of the inaugural year of  Stand Up Paddling in the Yukon River Quest (735km/400 miles). As their support crew we had a very hands-on experience with their race and it was something we won't soon forget.

Lina was the first female SUP paddler to cross the finish line in Dawson City in 60 hours and 22 minutes. Norm finished in 54 hours and 56 minutes for a 2nd place finish making history along with all of the other SUP paddlers proving SUP had a legitimate place in the iconic race.

Nikki, Lina, Mark and Norm at the 2016 Yukon River Quest Awards Banquet

This year we once again support a local, Vancouver, BC SUP athlete, Peter Allen. Peter is the buyer for Kokatat and Werner dealer, Ecomarine located on Granville Island in Vancouver. While we would love to be in Whitehorse, Carmacks and Dawson City to support Peter, we will cheering him from afar while girlfriend, Erica takes on the critical role of Support Crew.

Paddling on Harrison Lake - Photo credit: Chris Christie

Peter has been training hard since he signed up for the race this past November. His training has taken him to various local races (MEC Big Chop, Indian Arm Challenge, Alberni Canal Downwind Challenge) this season. We had the good fortune of being on the water with Peter a few times over the winter when he did some training runs down the Fraser River between Hope and Chilliwack. During his winter training sessions Peter wore the Kokatat Surge Paddling Suit to keep him warm and dry, in addition to his Kokatat Bahia Tour PFD. His paddle of choice is the Werner Paddles Grand Prix 86 and his spare is the Performance Travel (3 pce) Flow 95, also by Werner Paddles.

All geared up for a paddle out of False Creek on Granville Island, home of Ecomarine.

Training on the Fraser River this winter

Thank you Peter for choosing Kokatat and Werner as part of your gear set up for the 19th Annual Yukon River Quest Race (June 28 - July 2)! We hope your race experience is a FANTASTIC one and we look forward to hearing all about it when you return.

If you are interested in following Peter (Team #5 aka SUP N IRISH) and other racers during the race you can do so via the 2017 Race Tracker as well as via Peter's instagram account.

All the best to all our friends who are also participating in the race in June (Jason, Stuart and Joanne for the second time!!!!) : Carmen Merkel (wearing the Kokatat Bahia Tour PFD), Jason Bennett (wearing the Kokatat Aries PFD), Stuart Knaack (wearing he Kokatat Guide PFD and paddling with a Werner Paddle) and Joanne Hamilton-Vale - heading back to Dawson City for her wedding ring!!!!

Joanne Hamilton-Vale photo credit: Mark Klein

Yukoner, Stuart Knaack Photo credit: Mark Klein

YRQ racing couple - Jason Bennett and Carmen Merkel Photo credit: Mark Klein

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Green River, UT

Green River, UT
Photo: Shawna Franklin