Longest distance raft race competition
Great River Amazon Raft Race (GRARR)
Peru (Iquitos)
The Great River Amazon Raft Race (GRARR) has been staged annually since 29 July 1999 between Pescadores Island, Nueva Esperanza, near Nauta to the Caza y Pesca Club in Bellavista, Nanay, near Iquitos, Peru, and covers 180 km (112 miles). The race was created by British-born Mike Collis and challenges teams of up to four people to build a log raft and paddle the total distance over three stages across three days. The first Amazon Raft Race took place on 29 July 1999, on the Nanay River. 42 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 two 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 180 km (112 miles), 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 outright 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. In 2009 the first seven places were occupied by local teams, yet the “Easy Living” speed record remained unbroken. In 2010 teams from 18 different countries competed, including Persian Storm from Iran, led by the intrepid extreme sports star Amin Adili and a team from Israel. In 2011 teams came again from all corners of the globe with two new countries adding to the list, Brazil and India. The race was won by the reigning champions Los Increibles from Padre Cocha near Iquitos. 2012 saw the event organized solely by the Regional Government of Loreto and 38 teams competed, with Los Increibles taking first place yet again.