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Goran Gustanvasson: Paddling the Yukon

Posted by Luke Green

Göran Gustavsson - Yukon River Quest. 

We caught up with epic adventurer and competitor across the SUP globe - Göran Gustavsson.  He is currently paddling the Yukon, a marathon length race of 715km/444 miles from Whitehorse to Dawson City, Yukon.  From training, to flying, he has all the right Red kit for this epic adventure alongside his trusty board, the Voyager 12’6’’.  

Follow his journey now: 

What was your training like for the Yukon? 

My training has been going to plan, it is important to do a little bit of training each week, mostly SUP.  My training sessions are about 10 - 15 km 4 or 5 times a week. In addition, to this I do lots of swimming and go on long walks. I make sure my Elite board, is full of my gear that im taking inorder to paddle the Yukon, so i can test paddle that board with my kit.  My kit is about 20kg, the board can absolutely handle that (unless there is some crosswind, which might make it heavy).  The Yukon requires a lot of training but needs plenty of preparation; what clothes do i need, what food, the spare parts so there is alot to get ready, for the 22nd June.  I also did most of my training on the Elite but have decided to race the Voyager 12’6’’ instead! 

I have been preparing for the Yukon for 6 months, and researching what exactly the kit is that i need and putting in some hardcore miles, i feel ready for the challenge.  I have a 30 hour journey ahead of me before i reach Whitehoar’s Yukon Canada.  Once in place, i have four days of preparation an getting to know the area and chat to people to try and get some good tips when out on the water. 

What Red Original gear have you got?

I’ve brought my 60L & 30L dry bags, alongside my performance tees and long sleeve performance top to keep me warm if i need it. I have also brought my Voyager 13’2’’ board, so i could go off and have a little paddle somewhere else and explore.  For this is brought my Deckbag & Active jacket. 

What do you love about the Deckbag?

The Deckbag is super easy to carry, even on a plane and I get a lot of stuff inside it. It was very handy for food and drink on the plane and also for the trip whilst im paddling with it being waterproof. It is the perfect size to have on the board for the race as well. 

What foods do you eat while training

Food is a big part of the training, and i eat all the time but it is important to eat the right foods. 

I do eat a lot of fruit, and some sandwiches with all sorts of things instead that give me energy such as ham & cheese, along with a lot of water as well. I do drink a little coca-cola to have a sugary hit to keep the energy up. 

What drives you to challenge yourself at these races?

What i love most about these races is meeting as many people from across the globe, no matter how tired and fatigued you get when out on the water, there is always people cheering you on.  I just love to travel and explore, i feel so humbled and lucky! This is one factor that simply drives me to keep on adventuring and racing on Red boards!

I am back in Whitehorse now after a a fantastic journey 715 km, finishing 5th across the race. An epic journey for 58 hours and 40 minutes this sort of race I will say is more than a race, with all the preparation before, all the safety equipment and all the training you have to put in to do this sort of race is such a good feeling.

Also having met people from all over the world creating new friends and reconnecting with old ones is absolutely fantastic. 

The deck bag was such a huge lifesaver out on the water as it was where I stored my food for the race with it being so easy to access and open up and I can have the map on top of it so I can follow the root all the time on the side pockets.  I kept my emergency equipment in my 30L dry bag such as tent, sleeping bag, cooking stove and any extra food I could get in. Behind me I had the 60L dry bag which had all my gear and clothes in, which essentially became my night bag as you like every night. The dry bags are super waterproof so none of my clothes got wet. The weather was pretty hot around 20 to 25°, but the temperature did drop in the evening to around 5°, my red original active jacket came in very handy for those light showers in the evening 7 early morning.

I am really pleased with the Voyager 13.2, it is the perfect board for river conditions, I felt I could just stay on the board the whole time and never get off.

What is your next Race?

I am looking forward to the summer back home in Sweden with a lots of paddling (only short distances) and hopefully some overnight journeys and then I have two more races I’m looking forward to this year the Sup11 city and the last man standing in December!