The U.S. Men’s National Raft Team hired Jack’s Plastic Welding, out of Aztec, New Mexico, to build a custom 48-foot raft, and customized it with sliding seats. Then, they set out to break the Grand Canyon raft speed record that was set in 2006 by another Colorado-based team. They had to beat 34 hours and 2 minutes by paddle the 277 miles straight, but at Lava Falls, the boat frame snapped. Ouch! Well, that’s the gist of it, but there’s more you can read from Heather Hansman’s detailed report.
- The U.S. Men’s National Raft Team, was attempting to break the speed record on the Grand Canyon, they were running some of the biggest rapids in the country in the middle of the night and they were close to hitting their goal.
- The first speed record was set during a historic flood in 1983, when raft guides Kenton Grua, Rudi Petschek, and Steve Reynolds paddled a dory down in 36 hours and 38 minutes.
- The seven paddlers from the team, who have competed together in world championships, brought on veteran Grand Canyon guide Marty Borges to help with the trip.
“Usually, when you’re rafting, you’re paddling facing forward, but the speed attempt boat is set up like a rowing shell, with all the rowers facing backward, pulling against the current.”