Great River Amazon Raft Race Balsa Adventure

by Captain Bill

Photographs by Rodrigo Rodrich


The Great River Amazon Raft Race balsa adventure 2011

These beautiful photographs by Rodrigo Rodrich tell part of the story of the rafters arriving way upstream near Nauta to build their rafts of balsa logs, and of the first day of the 13th running of the Great River Amazon Raft Race. Take a look at the joy, despair and determination.


They are building there rafts themselves and they are ready to go, at the Great River Amazon Raft Race 2011

The Great River Raft Race attracted 45 teams, over 220 participants and media, plus a large crowd at the starting line near Nauta and along the river course at Porvenir, Nueve Esperanza, Tamshiyacu, and at the finish line near Iquitos.


Every raft at the Great River Amazon Raft Race has to be the same number of logs, but each one is unique

The participating rafters named their crews imaginative descriptive names…Peachy Asses…Crazy Cuys…Last of the Mohicans…Ancash Ladies Do It Better…Wild America…Faint Hearted…RiffRaft…Spanky and the Spanksters…Currently Lost…and my favorite to win it all, Vamos Ya, (Let’s Go Now).


This photo defines the Great Amazon River Raft Race challenge, Test Your Endurance. This young lady rebounded from a shaky start and finished the race.

The old motto, The Faint Of Heart Need Not Apply, must have filtered out every one that should not have been on a raft in the race for three days on the Amazon River, because there were no faint of heart in this race.

"Great River Amazon Raft Race youngest paddler, 16 years old"

The young man in the upper left of this photo is 16 years old, from Markhan College, and the youngest paddler to compete in the Great River Amazon Raft Race

This years Great River Amazon Raft Race featured a 16 year old on the Markham College crew, the youngest paddler to enter the race.

"Great River Amazon Raft Race, what it takes to win"

This photo shows part of what it takes to win the Great River Amazon Raft Race

And they are off on the start of The Great River Amazon Raft Race 2011

"Great River Amazon Raft Race in the big river in a small raft"

The Great River Amazon Raft Race on the big river in a small raft

The Great River Amazon Raft Race is held in Peru on the largest river in the world. The rafts spread out over several miles with the fastest contestants soon around the bend. Sometimes you may be left alone with no other person or raft in sight and you are racing against time and your self. Finishing is winning!

Artistic photo of the start of the Great River Amazon Raft Race

I love this photo of the start of the Great River Amazon Raft Race

Great River Amazon Raft Race Balsa Adventure

Bill Grimes reporting from Iquitos Peru on the Great River Amazon Raft Race, 2011; Stay tuned for the photos and more of the story of day two and three of this long grueling raft race on the Amazon River in and near Iquitos Peru.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mike Collis October 12, 2011 at 9:02 am

Captain Bill, What can I say about these photos ? They are incredible, they say a picture speaks a thousand words , these speak trillions !

Well Done Rodrigo Rodrich, if you are not a pro you should be .

2 Audrey Louis-Enstrom October 12, 2011 at 9:19 am

Great Photos! Maybe some day I will get to do the race.

3 Gringa Linda October 12, 2011 at 9:34 am

Fantastic – hope you share more – there’s room on our Facebook group site! Thanks soooooo much!

4 alan shoemaker October 12, 2011 at 10:35 am

Incredible photos Mike! Perhaps a location on the web where everyone can load their photos? I’d love to see more. This photographer took wonderful shots!
Thanks for sharing them.

5 Mark Halliday October 12, 2011 at 10:52 am

Very Nice, thanks !

6 Cédric October 12, 2011 at 11:41 am

Indeed Rodrigo is an incredible photographer!!!! He was able to capture the REAL atmosphere at the GOOD moment!
Thanks Captain Bill for the posting!

7 Denis October 12, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Hi Mike, Bill,
Looks like you had a fantastic time again this year, photoes are excellent.
Regards to all in Iquitos, will mail when I have a bit more time.

Ex UK rafter Den

8 Debbie Blair October 13, 2011 at 6:06 am

Its wonderful to be able to experience the race through photos! It is my goal to participate one day! Thanks for posting these wonderful photos!

9 jack mcculley October 13, 2011 at 8:08 am

Very nice. What a helluva an event.

10 bob& liz rafters October 13, 2011 at 8:11 am

Thanks they are great shots. If you have more please send them thanks again.

11 Sally Mote October 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Thanks for posting these. I am so relieved that my daughter surivived and lived to tell the tale!

12 joe plumb October 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm


I’ve sent the British Embassy in Lima the link to the “Dawn On The Amazon” website.

The photos are amazing…! Those Amazon sky-lines are breath-taking!

Congratulations to all involved; I know from Mick Collis that there were issues around the prizes, but it looks like it was an incredible experience for all the participants.

Joe Plumb.

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