While digging around for canoe marathon info and pics, I landed on this blog by paddler and racer Nick Adnitt in Great Britain.
Frustrated with a lack of options and canoes that suit his needs, he decided to build his own canoes for races like the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race, which he says “is arguably the hardest canoe race in the world. 125 miles non-stop from Devizes in Wiltshire to Westminster Bridge in London”. It has 77 portages. Damn, that’s a lot of dams.
Here’s what he says:
“I had reached the limit to what I could do with the tools and facilities at home so I was faced with a decision, do I quit now or go the whole hog and get it done by professionals. Well I certainly couldn’t go to my grave without giving it a shot, so ‘The Darkness’ is now a full production canoe to the highest professional standards, but more about that later.”
It’s time to get another canoe. Erik is comfortable enough in canoes and kayaks now, having been part of the winning team in the 2015 Pacific Cup canoe and kayak sprint races, that he doesn’t need to always be the third wheel in the canoe with little to do.
There is almost no shopping to be done, to be serious for a minute, there is practically zero competition here on the West Coast for canoes. It’s Clipper or nothing. Yes, yes, MEC sells canoes too, but they don’t have any solo canoes that match what we’re looking for.
Our keywords: #fast #straight #racing #exercise #sitandswitch #singleblade or #doubleblade #tripping
Only two fit the bill, the Solitude and the Freedom. We used to own the Solitude, and while it is a fantastic canoe, it completely sucks when the wind picks up if you aren’t carrying a huge load. It is a fantastic tripping solo canoe, and fantastic for workouts if the wind stays calm. But the minute the wind picks up it acts like a giant sail because of how high it floats. I told it to fund the Tripper, which was a necessary step to get Anita and Erik into canoeing! Good move, Jens, it worked! 🙂
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Welcome to Big Yellow Canoe - our passion project to bring our love for canoeing, the outdoors, camping, home and just getting out there and living life to the fullest.
We're building this blog to share our trip reports and our recipes as well as stories to inspire you to try canoeing, get outside and do the things that you love ... every day. Life is short. We'd rather be paddling and hope you'll tag along.
Jens and Anita