Saturday, July 24, 2010
Circle to Fort Yukon - Landcrew based in Fairbanks
Where in the world is Tom?????
Tom and Steve are charging today - they are well into the Yukon Flats
45kms past "Circle" the land crew were unable to get to Circle due to the
estimated time of Tom Simmat and Steve Pizzey passing the village.
We are endeavoring to work out a plan to rent a float plane to get from
Fairbanks out to Fort Yukon to try and spot the team from the air, we're
not sure how this will go but, i'll keep you posted.
With no roads in the area and no boat rental that will let us take them
into the Yukon Flats - all we can do is watch their "myspot" GPS locators
on the net and the race results website
Today is the day of action - at the end of the Yukon flats it will be a
1.5 day sprint to the finish. Maintaining a lead in this stage of the
event is a gamble on picking the best line. There are no-detailed maps of
the river here with the exception of what you can see on google earth. We
have a map of the area from the Alaskan Government, get this, the scale is
1:1,400,000. SO basically you might as well take a "globe" from a
kindergarten classroom with you on the race.
The team have zoomed in shots from google earth and some basic maps
provided by the race organizers. We plotted way points back in Sydney Town
and loaded them into the spare GPS's that have taken. So with some hope
the way points should give them guidance.
Also consider when you zoom in on google earth in some locations the Yukon
Flats that you see are over 15km across
I'll check back in this afternoon with another post.........
This race is really starting to get interesting - late in the afternoon
Alaska time today TIPC and Starfactor drew up even and battled it out for
2nd place position. Starfactor were unable to take the 2nd place spot away
from team TIPC and have now dropped back significantly. TIPC are now the
team to watch as they maintain a relatively similar position behind the
leaders Tom Simmat and Steve Pizzey the Australian Paddlers.
Stay tuned for further developments on the 2nd place position. There is a
mandatory stop coming up in 2 hours. The teams have to stop and camp for 6
hours and they must pull up no later than 23:00 hrs AK time and can then
only start back on the water after 6 hours rest.
Not long to go now. All teams still now need to keep an eye on their
course and pick the best lines across the remainder for the Yukon Flats.
For those of you following us on the results tab of the race website
make sure you select the "display map" box and zoom in on where the teams
are. This part of the river is difficult to navigate and the only guidance
they currently have is the pre-planned Waypoints we set using Google
Earth back in Sydney before we left.
We have been unable to up-date the Tom Simmat and Steve Pizzey on the
positions of the 2nd and 3rd place teams now for 2 hours so we can only
hope that if the 2nd place teams start gaining on them they "put in" and
maintain their lead.
The land crew are heading to the Dalton Hwy Pipeline Crossing of the Yukon
River tomorrow at Midday with a hope that Tom and Steve can finish the
race before midnight. IF not they may have to camp just 10kms from the
finish line to comply with the mandatory rest stop rules, so this will
mean that they finish well into the morning of the 26th of July AK
Stay posted for more developments over the next couple of hours, watch for
the "OK" spot check that means they are off the water and taking the 6 hour
The Landcrew update.
We were lucky to be able to travel the Taylor Highway Dawson to Fairbanks through Chicken. The road was only open for 4 days and has been washed out again. We saved 700 kilometers driving. Luck was with us I hope it is with the boys.
Based in Fairbanks at the Bridgewater Hotel on the Chena River
The Golden Days Grand Parade passed in front of our hotel. Old cars, community groups, fire trucks, the Army, bands, politicians, Elvis you name it they were out in force today. It was fun, all the locals had a chair and we all watched for about 2 hours.
Tonight we had dinner at the Pump House on the Chena River, sometimes it is good being landcrew.
We go to the Yukon Camp where the Dalton Highway crosses the Yukon River to meet Tom and Steve at the end of the race hopefully late tomorrow night. Their ETA was 11am tomorrow morning but they could be as much as 24 hours late.