Friday, June 13, 2014
Russell Henry Sets New Vancouver Island Kayak Circumnavigation Speed Record
The previous record for quickest circumnavigation of Vancouver Island by a kayak was held by Joe O'Blenis who completed the 1,100 km trip in 16 days, 12 hours, 14 minutes. The previous record for fastest circumnavigation was held by Colin Angus who completed the trip in a rowboat in 15 days, 11 hours, and 47 minutes.
Joe posted on his Facebook page, "I'd like to extend my sincere congratulations to Russell for pulling off an absolutely, insanely... fast trip around the island! I am stoked for him. I know how hard this trip must be and the toll it takes on the body. Way to go Russell Henry, you are the man!!"
Colin posted his own congratulatory remarks on his Facebook page, "The fortitude required to pull of what he did is unbelievable. There were days when he was pulling off the beach at 3:00 am and finishing at 9:00 pm. On his first day he was passing Brooks Peninsula with 80 km/hr winds and 15 foot waves. Unstoppable! Congratulations Russell!!"
Sean Morely, another former record holder, also took to Facebook to offer this comment, "Absolutely fantastic. Well done Russell Henry! That is going to take some beating!"
Russell easily eclipsed both marks despite running into trouble on the eleventh day when he had to deal with what he described as a "back hatch full of water, foot and a half crack in the hull." Making an "iffy" fix, he was able to carry on and finish his record-setting adventure.
In an interview published yesterday, Russell said he was holding up "...[b]etter than I thought it would be for sure. Obviously my shoulders, delts, and whole core are tired after each day. My bum gets sore, my hands are full of blisters and peeling."
Last night, he posted that he was "sun fried and totally exhausted, but STOKED about where I'm at and looking forward to tomorrow because I get to stop paddling."
Well done, Russell! Take the weekend off! :)
You can follow Russell on his website, or his Facebook page.
Addendum From The Future: And here's a nice interview with Russell from Canoe and Kayak published a week after he finished and an interview with a local newspaper ten days after.