Team Attempts To Row Grand Canyon For The Record

By Laurel Morales
Published: Friday, January 10, 2020 - 11:34am
Updated: Monday, January 13, 2020 - 11:05am
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Lyndsay Hupp
The team is attempting to row 277 miles through 31 rapids in 34 hours.

A group of eight rowers attempted to break the speed record on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. They launched Jan. 9 at midnight from Lees Ferry.

The team attempted to row 277 miles in 34 hours. The crew includes experienced Grand Canyon river guides and members of the U.S. Men's Whitewater Rafting Team. They hope to break the record set in 2016. 

The crew didn't quite make their goal. They finished in 37 hours and 55 minutes.

The U.S. Whitewater Raft Team posted the following on Facebook: "No record, but we have walked away changed! We had clean lines and never stopped pushing! The water was too low for a record, almost half of our last attempt. Besides freezing and having to make a hospital visit for frostbite we will all mend from the suffering. We will walk away changed by the experience. We felt so supported the entire time. The Grand Canyon and Flagstaff community support was overwhelming too. One old Grand guide said, 'I think you have re-inspired the speed run to this community. Thanks so much!' There was over 50 people cheering us on at the Black Bridge!"

The record had been held for decades by a group of boaters who took advantage of the Glen Canyon Dam crisis in 1983. They essentially used the high flows to slingshot a small wooden dory through the Grand Canyon.

For this attempt, the team built a special 41-foot-long cataraft with six rowing stations.

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