The Great River Amazon Raft Race, Iquitos Peru

by Captain Bill

Great River Amazon Raft Race, Iquitos Peru

Race for 1st and 2nd, Great River Amazon Raft Race 2006

Hi everyone, I am in Iquitos Peru gearing up for the Great River Amazon Raft Race 2008, the longest raft race in the world, and the only sporting event that can be mentioned in the same sentence as the  Iditarod Great Sled Race.

The largest river, the longest raft race, paddling a raft constructed of balsa logs, tied together with jungle vines, that you build your self, just like the Amazon natives have for a thousand years. The paddles are carved with machetes from the Remo Caspi tree, which means paddle tree, because the wood is strong but light, the same wood the Amazon natives have used for centuries.

The 10th annual Great River Amazon Raft Race begins September 19th, way upstream from where the Amazon River is born, on the Maranon River at the village of Nauta. Rafters will paddle 130 miles on the upper Amazon and finish three days later at Iquitos September 21st. It is easy to type, and easy to read. Does it sound easy?

Read this. The Faint of Heart Need not Apply!

Thirty three international teams have already entered The Great River Amazon Raft Race 2008, representing 16 countries. Several of the teams are raising money for charity through sponsors.

Beauty versus Brawn

The Sisterhood, “…ordinary girls achieving extraordinary things…” and the Brotherhood, “…extraordinary guys doing ordinary things…”, have each entered 4 teams, and hope to raise enough sponsor money to build a hospice for children in Iquitos, and donate money to several other children’s charities. I saw on the Sisterhood’s website they have one sponsor that anted up $9,000.


Robbie Dowling, famous for raising money for good causes, and for being the first person to attempt navigating the upper Amazon River in a bath tub, is back this year with more sponsors.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The Mounties have entered a team to help the cause.

The Healers, a group of medical professionals from the San Francisco Bay area have entered three teams. We have cancer survivors, and participants from age 71 to 17.

Brains over Prawns raised $540 from sponsors for a children charity in only two days after finding out about the raft race.

Did I miss anyone that is paddling with sponsorship, raising money for a good cause? Please leave a comment at the bottom of this article and tell us about your plans and goals.

Are you looking for a new travel adventure to capture your imagination? Join us.

Great River Amazon Raft Race Blog

The Great River Amazon Raft Race is organized by the Amazon Rafting Club in Iquitos Peru. Check out their official blog site, The Great River Amazon Raft Race Blog, there are already 282 interesting and informative comments with two weeks to go before the big race.

Mad Mick

A special prize should go to Mike Collis, affectionately known as Mad Mick. Mike is the founder, promotor, driving force, heart, and soul of the Great River Amazon Raft Race. I am a living testimonial that Mad Mick is a premier promoter because he convinced Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises to be co-sponsor of the race. If anyone cares, Mike and I have never made one penny from The Great River Amazon Raft Race. We donate our money and time to promote the city we love, Iquitos Peru, as an adventure eco-tourism destination.

Three blogs you should read

To gain valuable insight into what might happen in the 2008 raft race you can read personal histories about the last three years races. Follow this link to The Great River Amazon Raft Race 2005, published in the Dawn on the Amazon Captain’s Blog.

Dale Baskins publisher of The Accidental Explorer, wrote The Great Amazon River Raft Race, describing how his team won the 2006 international competition. Any team that aspires to win should read his story.

AJ Rivera is the author of the fascinating Thru-Kayaking, the story of AJ’s attempt to kayak the length of the Amazon River. Part of that adventure is chronicled in his blog in a series of posts beginning with Amazon Raft Race 2007. There are many good adventure stories in those three blogs and I encourage you to bookmark them, and add them to your RSS feed. Who among you will write the definitive story of the Great River Amazon Raft Race 2008?

After this great race, rafters can proudly quote AJ, “The blood in my veins has been replaced by the Amazon River’s muddy water and its current will now run in my soul till I die.”   A. J. Rivera,  From The Great River Amazon Raft Race 2007.

Great River Amazon Raft Race, Iquitos Peru

Bill Grimes president of Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises.

Would you enjoy watching the Great River Amazon Raft Race from a comfortable cruise boat, with plenty of room, gourmet food, cold beer and cool wine? We have space available for you on Dawn on the Amazon I and Dawn on the Amazon III…type this email to;


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