On June 27th, 2011 Lina Augaitis, team rider for Starboard and SUP instructor at Deep Cove Kayak will be embarking on an expedition of a lifetime, paddling from Whitehorse to Dawson City, up in the Yukon Territories of Canada by way of the Yukon River, covering 740km and expected to take approximately six days. This should be the very first time anyone has completed this journey on a stand up paddleboard.
Lina has been stand up paddleboarding for the past two years, participating in a number of SUP races, including the weekly Tuesday Night Races at Deep Cove Kayak, Kalamalka Classic, and Battle of the Paddle California.
She’ll be supported by kayaker Andrew Dye, a whitewater kayak instructor with over ten years of experience padding in and around the rivers around BC, Britain, and the French Alps.
Both Lina and Andrew have participated in numerous multi-day adventure races, so both are well experienced to take on this sort of an ambitious endeavour.
Expedition sponsors include Trident Sports, the North American distributor for Starboard, Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak based in Deep Cove, North Vancouver, national retailer Mountain Equipment Co-op, Icebreaker Apparel, and paddle builders Kialoa Paddles and Werner Paddles.
In Lina’s words…
My dream of paddling down the Yukon River will finally become a reality, in SUP form. In 2010, I pursued the sport of SUP through instructing and racing. My increasing passion for SUP, has driven me to explore different areas and different bodies of water via SUP, leading to the idea to paddle the Yukon river (Whitehorse to Dawson). As far as I can tell, I will be the first to complete this route on a SUP. Through this expedition I hope to enhance my sense of pursuing and reaching my dreams and help others take the first steps to develop, accomplish and relish in their dreams and or passions through my blog, pictures, and stories shared.
The Yukon is full of exciting and undamaged wilderness. Protecting our environment is an important issue in our world today. Throughout and after the expedition, I hope to promote, educate, and cherish the surrounding environment of the Yukon River. Clean water is becoming a prominent issue worldwide. Paddling on such pristine water is another way to appreciate its importance, beauty, and power.
I would also like to promote the sport of SUP. Andrew and I plan to record our journey with photographs and point-of-view video, allowing us to write a blog, and produce a short video capturing the essence of the expedition. Andrew will provide safety support and to help carry gear by kayak.
I aim to motivate others to follow their dreams and passions, and get more people enjoying the outdoors in a variety of capacities. Too many people suffer from symptoms such as overstress, depression, and anxiety, which may lead to other health problems and further complications. I hope that through outdoor recreation people are able to free themselves from fear, let go of their comfort zones, and live the life they want to live without any regrets and full of passion.
I am a teacher and through my work I see that we have youth with unique talents, passions, and dreams. My desire is to reach out to as many youth as possible through role modeling, instruction, discussions, and pursuing goals.
Adolescents are blessed with gifts, dreams, and desires, and they should acquire the skills to allow them to develop confidence and have the support of others to help them reach their full potential. The outdoors is just one of many avenues to accomplish this and I will focus on this through the expedition.
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Good luck guys!