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, 19th September 2008, and finish in the City of Iquitos on Sunday, 21st September 2008. Each 4 person crew will paddle a raft they built themselves the day before the race. Each raft will be constructed of lightweight balsawood logs which will be provided. Then the teams will raft down the mighty Amazon River for 132 miles. The winning crews will show excellence in teamwork, stamina and knowledge of currents and rivers.
2007 Rafters from Peru and all over the world united in the glory and satisfaction of competing in and completing
the "World's Longest Raft Race".
The History of 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 Gerald Mayeaux was appointed as the Director of Tourism for Iquitos. Gerald asked Mike if he had any ideas to promote tourism in Iquitos. Mike told him that for more than 25 years he had organized raft races in England. Gerald asked Mike to organize the first raft race on the Amazon.
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 fastest foreign team in 2007 were “Los Fantasmas Bronceados” representing the False Creek Canoe Club of British Columbia, Canada with an overall time of only 17 hours 31 minutes.
Last year’s winning team, “Los Invincibles,” were from the village of Padre Cocha, and completed the course just shy of 14 hours over 3 days. The average time for all teams was approx. 18 hours for the 3 day race.
The Peruvian Coast Guard and Civil Defense will provide safety boats and personnel to ensure the participants safety.