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Another island speed record attempt

12 days 23 hours 45 minutes

(according to his track, but since the waypoints do not line up exactly, probably 12:23:44)

Congratulations Russell!
Russell's campsites:

As John pointed out, his time is
12 days
23 hours
44 minutes

May 31 10:28
June 13 10:12

so he beats the record by 60 hours !!


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Congratulations Russell! Awesome seamanship, awesome effort. :clap:
Finn said:
Anyone else have the feeling that this record is going to stand for a while?
I think it might hold as long as his brother Graham (also a fantastic paddler) doesn't get the itch to challenge this new record. Rumour has it, Russell "borrowed" Graham's paddle for the trip.
It's about 1,100 km. What set this attempt apart is he used the wind to his advantage. The other attempts left from the south or east island and just took the west weather as it came, whereas Russell used the wind to run the outer coast. So any future attempt with any real hope of challenging will have to do the same: leave under ideal conditions to get blown at least half way around the island. Figure to break the attempt by any large amount you'd need a six-day window of northwesterlies down the outer island then a shift to southerlies to blow back up the inside. The only disappointment I have is Russell restocked and ate out along the way, so the trip doesn't qualify as an "unassisted" effort. I think that's an important distinction because every time someone gets help along the way it becomes difficult to measure how much assistance one can get before the record becomes a completely different style of attempt. Imagine someone with a boat escort, meals and accommodation prepared along the way, different kayaks to use for different conditions as needed compared to someone just slogging it. Okay, he gets the fastest time by using the escort, but is that the type of record we want to make the benchmark? Even help lifting the kayak up a beach changes the demands placed upon the kayaker. So the record for an "unassisted" circumnavigation remains unclaimed. I hope future attempts aim for the pure form: you leave with what you take and get no help along the way.

Congrats to Russell regardless. An amazing effort.
I agree with you on both accounts:1) a great effort by Russel, and 2) too bad is wasn't unassisted.
John, you've touched on that issue before, and I can't say I'm any closer to agreeing with you. I'm not sure what gives us the clarity to impose definitions of what is assisted and what is unassisted. The whole "by fair means" ethic was never iron-clad. Reihold Messner summited 8000m peaks without oxygen, but he still used goretex and flew to Kathmandu by commercial airline. That is surely some measure of assistance.

We're human beings. We all get assistance all the time. Whether the dude grabbed a cheeseburger in Tofino or not is irrelevant to what he did: paddle a kayak around Vancouver Island faster than anyone else.

What would satisfy you? If he felled his own trees, milled his own wood, built his own boat and paddles, then paddled around the island foraging for wood along the way (in homespun clothing from his flock of sheep)? Maybe Kiliii Yu will try that! :big_thumb

Fun debate! :lol: