The Faint Of Heart Need Not Apply
Since 1999 the Amazon Rafting Club, based in Iquitos, Peru has invited rafters, canoeists, rowers, paddlers and adventurers from all over the world to compete in The Great River Amazon Raft Race. The 2011 race is hoping to attract more teams than ever before and you are invited. Although it is tough, lots of rafters have completed the course; even some older people. In 2006 the “Over the hill Gang” finished the race and their average age was 68. In 2007 David Petroski, the Captain of the Canada One team, celebrated his 71st birthday on the second day of the race.
Safety boats will be watching over you so if your tired, sick, or just plain fed up, you will be whisked off your raft and into the support boat before you could say Sarah Palin.
The 3 day race will start in the town of Nauta on Friday, 7th October 2011, and finish at the Fishing club in the City of Iquitos on Sunday, 9th October 2011 mid to late afternoon. Each 4 person crew will paddle a raft they built themselves the day before the race (6th October). Each raft will be constructed of lightweight balsa wood 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 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 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. Forty three 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. Things went back to normal in 2009 when the first 7 places were occupied by local teams but Easy Living’s record still stands. In 2010 a record number of teams competed from 18 different countries including Persian Storm from Iran, led by the intrepid extreme sports star Amin Adili. Amin and his team are hoping to compete again this year.
Race Information 2011
Itinerary/Arrival And Departure Info
All foreign teams must be in Iquitos by Tuesday 4th October 8:00 p.m. for the “Rafters Get Together” and reception at The Amazon Explorers Club located on the Malecon overlooking the boulevard and the river.
Thursday 6th October
At 7:30am you will leave by bus for the 2 hour drive to Nauta where there will be a civic reception at 11:00am in the Plaza de Armas; 12:00 noon, lunch provided; 1:30pm, all competitors cross the river by boat to Isla de Pescadores (Fisherman’s Island), 2:00 pm each team constructs their own raft with local help if required, 6:00pm, dinner for competitors (provided), 7:00pm Fiesta with music and dancing on the beach. You will sleep overnight on the beach in tents provided by the Nauta City Council.
Friday 7th October
Breakfast will be provided at 7:00am, and at 8:30am, all rafts start the race together, in mass, from the beach to the isolated village of Porvenir, a distance of 36 miles, (average time 6.00 hours). Dinner will be provided at 6:00pm; all participants will sleep in tents, that are provided.
Saturday 8th October
Breakfast will be provided at 6:30am. All participants start in mass at 7:30am; this 2nd leg of the race is to the town of Tamshiyacu, a distance of 41 miles (average time of 6.30 hours). Dinner will be provided at 6:00pm. There will be a Grand Fiesta at 8:00pm. All participants will sleep in the school on mattresses that will be provided.
Sunday 9th October
Breakfast will be provided at 6:30am. Mass start at 7:30 a.m for the final leg from Tamshiyacu to the Fishing Club at Bella Vista Nanay, just outside the City of Iquitos, a distance of 41 miles, (average time 5.30 hours).
Party and Prize ceremony will follow the finish at the Fishing Club. There will be a Rafters Party at the Amazon Explorers Club at 8:30pm.
(1) Each team must consist of 4 persons.
( 2) Substitution is allowed, but with a time penalty of 2 hours per substitution. Each team is allowed to have up to 3 substitutes.
(3) Rafts will be constructed by each team* with a minimum of 8 balsawood logs no less than 5 meters in length.
( 4) Only the first and last meter of the logs can be carved into points.
(5) Only paddles (no double bladed paddles); no oars, no motors, no sails, no towing. (Paddles will be provided but professional paddles can be used).
(6) Life jackets MUST be worn at all times while on the water.
( 7) Teams must not interfere or impede the progress of other teams.
( 8) No alcohol or drugs allowed on board rafts.
(9) Any raft with more 5 klms to go at 5.00 p.m.each day will be towed to the finish line with a time penalty of 2 hours. Any crew refusing the tow will NOT be allowed to compete the next day.
(10) Each team will be allocated a raft number which must be displayed on the raft at all times.
(11) The Judges’ decision will be final.
*Foreign teams will be allowed local help building the rafts if necessary*
Items Needed On The Raft
Foam rubber for seats
Broad brimmed hat*
Gloves, gardening or similar
First aid kit
Snacks/small food items
The above items can be purchased in Iquitos. Items marked with an * can be rented in Iquitos. Lifejackets are provided but you can use your own.
We encourage foreign teams to find sponsors and raise money for a good cause of their own choice. In 2010 Bethan Bayrass and her Action for Cancer team raised over $10,000US for cancer sufferers in the UK.
Inscription/Entry Fee for Foreign Teams
The Entry Fee is $150US per person with up to 7 paddlers per crew including substitutes.
Included is; transport by bus to Nauta, 8 balsawood logs and other construction materials, life jackets, paddles , treated drinking water and all meals. Also mattresses, tents provided for Thursday 6th and Friday 7th October. All crews will sleep on mattresses in the school gymnasium in Tamshiyacu on Saturday 8th October.
HOW TO ENTER The 2011 GREAT RIVER AMAZON RAFT RACE
1. Email your information, including team name, captain name, team members, nationalities – or as much as you know for now. See addresses for email below.
2. We send you an email with a link which will take you to PayPal.
3. In PayPal, you may pay thru PayPal or with credit card. Each transaction should include $25 for processing, whether paying for your team or an individual. If you would prefer to pay by MoneyGram, or Western Union it’s easy. When you send in your information, ask for the details of how to pay by MG or WU.
4. Pay for team of 4 – $600 USD (+ $25 processing per transaction)
OR pay for individual to raft $150 (+$25 processing per transaction) per person
OR to be on support boat $150 (+ $25 processing per transaction) per person for front row seat to cheer for your favorite team in raft-race.
Meals included for rafters and for support boat participants.
If you are repeating from a previous race, please share experience with new rafters. This official blog is the best place to find and share info. Read the comments below for more information. If you have a question ask it in the comments below.
Join us on Facebook at Amazon Rafting Club and join our group as participant or friend. Help our membership grow!
Send your entry email to Linda Flynn or Morten Bruun Jensen, CC both of them to make sure you receive the attention you deserve. Their email addresses are below;
Linda Flynn = firstname.lastname@example.org (space in address is an underscore)
Morten Bruun Jensen = email@example.com
5. Include a short bio of your team and your hopes for adventure with your entry if this will be your first time.
Mike Collis and Carsten Korch are valuable sources of information and are available for news releases, promotional events, interviews, etc. Their email addresses are below.
Articles about this event can be found by logging onto; www.google.com and searching for Amazon Raft Race. If you are in Facebook please join Amazon Rafting Club.
Peru Experience, for unique journeys and unforgettable memories.
Living In Peru, news from Peru.
Great River Amazon Raft Race sponsored by;
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Entry Fee include accommodation in Iquitos ?
No it does not.
Is the water provided during the race safe to drink ?
The water provided is bottled and is safe to drink.
Is it necessary to attend the Rafters Get Together on the Tuesday evening before the race ?
No its not but you will miss a great party.
Can we buy the things we need in Iquitos or should we bring them ?
Iquitos is a modern city and you can get everything here.
Can you recommend hostels in Iquitos for us ?
Yes we can.
Can we use our own professional type paddles and life jackets ?
Yes you can.
Can we bring our own tents to sleep in ?
Tents are provided for everyone but you can bring your own if you like.
Are there any restrictions of the way the raft is constructed ?
Not really but you must use all 8 logs and they must be adjacent to one another but not necessarily touching one another. 4 x 4 are not allowed.
Can we use wire or plastic straps instead of rope to tie the logs together ?
Yes you can.
Can we build a shelter on the raft ?
You can put anything you like above the waterline like a shelter or plastic chairs but sails are not allowed.
How will substitutes get from from one stage to another ?
Substitutes and spectators will travel on the Support Boat. They will all treated as paddlers and will be provided with accommodation, food and water during the 4 days of the event at a cost of $125US per person.
Will there be any prize money ?
Yes there will be prize money but the amounts depend on how many teams take part.
If someone is sick during the race will there be medical staff with the race ?
Yes we always have medical staff with us, and fast speedboats for evacuation if needed.
Where will rafters keep their belongings during the race ?
Rafters belongings will be stored on the support Boat under police guard.
Is there cellphone coverage on that part of the Amazon ?
Yes 80% of the course has cellphone coverage but not all.
The Amazon Rafting Club
The Amazon Rafting Club was informally formed after the 2006 Great River Amazon Raft Race. Membership Fee = *FREE*
President 2010 – 2011 is Linda Flynn who was the Captain of the fastest foreign team in 2010.
Membership Qualifications – Open to anyone who competes in “The Great River Amazon Raft Race.”
Club Benefits – Certificate of Membership; Bragging rights to being one of the elite few who have competed in this unique race.
Gringa Linda Flynn, four time competitor in the Great River Amazon Raft Race, is the president of the Amazon Rafting Club now for the 2nd year running.
2006-2007 Dale Baskin USA
2007-2008 Robyn Tkatch Canada
2008-2009 David Kelly
2009-2010 Linda Flynn
Amazon Raft Race 2011 Blog
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CLOSING DATE FOR ENTRIES 21st September 2011
Contact Club President Linda Flynn on; firstname.lastname@example.org