They don’t call the Texas Water Safari The World’s Toughest Canoe Race’ for nothing. In addition to the length, the challenges include whitewater rapids, multiple portages, and the relentless, soul-sapping Texas heat. Competitors have four days and four hours to paddle from San Marcos, in the center of the state, to the shy little town of Seadrift on the Gulf Coast. There is no prize money for the winners; just Texas-size bragging rights for the finishers. - Larry Rice, in July 2009 Canoe & Kayak Magazine
First held in 1963, the Safari is a non-stop 265-mile long odyssey that must be completed in 100 hours or less. The primary requirement is a boat powered only by human muscle. 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 food, water and/or ice. During the Safari, teams may not receive any assistance of any kind, except verbal. Other challenges include alligators, sharks, water moccasin (Wendel’s favorite), fire ants, and mosquitos.