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There’s only one way to finish the Texas Water Safari in under 100 hours. Only one way to survive all 260 miles from Central Texas to the coast through alligators, logjams, snakes, sleepless nights, unforgiving summer heat, and an unpredictable bay. You get in the river, then you shut up and paddle.
Legend has it that in 1962, Frank Brown and Bill "Big Willie" George decided to take their V-bottom boat, without a motor, from San Marcos to Corpus Christi. They accomplished their mission in about 30 days and decided that other people should have the opportunity to experience the same journey. So in 1963 they set up the first Texas Water Safari.
Today the Safari is a long, tough, nonstop marathon canoe-racing adventure, traversing 260 miles of challenging rivers and bay. Many participants enter the race with no intention of winning, but with the goal of joining the elite group of finishers and earning the coveted Texas Water Safari finisher's patch.
Entrants must have all provisions, equipment, and items of repair in their possession at the start of the race. Nothing may be purchased by or delivered to a team during the race except water and/or ice. Each team must have a team captain (18 years old or older) whose responsibility it is to follow the team by vehicle (car, truck, or bicycle) to keep track of their location and condition and to give them water and/or ice. During the Safari, teams may not receive any assistance of any kind, except verbal. Teams must be prepared to travel day and night nonstop to be competitive, but teams who occasionally stop for sleep have been able to reach mandatory checkpoint cutoff times and cross the finish line by the 100-hour deadline. See Texas Water Safari for more information.