***2020 Everglades Challenge*** 3/7/2020/ Start

This is a 300 mile unsupported race from St. Pete to Key Largo for small boats. The real challenge is to do it in a kayak.
Our own Greg Stamer is registered in “class one/no sail”. His watertribe name is “kayakvagabond” and you can track Greg and others at this link.
All boats carry a “SPOT” tracking device.


Good luck all.

From Greg:
The Everglades challenge requires you to paddle 20 or more hours a day if you want to be a front-runner. I’m usually planning for around 3 hours of sleep per day at best, with some short “power naps” to take the edge off, but you suffer and need an attitude of “embrace the suck”. For a longer effort you would need more sleep to be sustainable. The EC is starting soon, on March 7. Knowing that someone is rooting for you always helps, so I hope that folks here follow it!


You bet I’ll be following for the 7th year and rooting for KayakVagabond: Nulla tenaci invia est via!

No sail is the purest form as the power always comes from within, not the wind. Am both awestruck and inspired.

Tracker is bookmarked and I plan to catch the 7:00 a.m. launch. Would be wonderful if there was drone coverage.

Fair winds and following seas to all the adventurers.

A race prep video…

The beach on Friday…

You have to launch your boat by the crew only with no outside help…

The Start…

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SCA tossed a monkey wrench into the start but finally they’re off and the tracker seems to be working.

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The WaterTribe tracker is notorious for sporadic failure. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

RaceOwl also available, Here’s Greg’s breadcrumbs as of this post:


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Moved post… added start video above…

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Didn’t seen many kayakers in the Start movie. Did they launch earlier?

Kayaks usually are ready to go and get off fast. Sailboats mostly had to turn into the wind and rig for conditions.

Due to sea conditions and SCA, some opted for “Plan B,” which was to move from Ft. DeSoto and launch at Anna Maria Island.


I’ve hit a few of those.

Strong winds have made EC2020 a very difficult and challenging race so far, with many dropouts due to equipment failures, 20-30 kt winds, exhaustion, and hypothermia.

One Hobie TI took on so much water it called a Mayday and was rescued by county marine patrol. There’s a current SAR by the USCG for a solo sailor in a Core Sound 17 who was last tracked 33 miles offshore. Think the SAR started over 10 hours ago but there’s been no news posted. Hoping that ends well.

Good news is that the paddlers are doing well. Greg checked in at CP2, Chokoloskee, Everglades National Park about 30 minutes ago. Great training and flawless technique, plus a load of experience.


This is not good news:

A PLB is required to be attached to each participant’s PFD in addition to the equipment listed here: http://watertribe.com/PDF/MustRead/WaterTribeRequiredEquipment.pdf

I’m tracking a couple from Michigan in a Kruger Cruiser. It looks like the stopped short of the Rodgers River Chickee.


A very nice couple. I met them in Port Austin a few years ago. I think this is their 5th EC.

I visited CP2 Chokoloskee today at very low tide and there was about 100 yds of mud between the beach and the water.
The north end of the nearby Turner River was much better…

That look quite heavenly from here in the land of slowly melting ice and snow.

Greg just made it into Flamingo, the final checkpoint before the finish.

Boggles my mind thinking of all the forward strokes it took to get there. And more to come.

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I’ll see how timing works out, maybe I can buzz over and greet him…
It’s been a tough race.

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That would be so neat! And yes, from all accounts it’s been grueling.