In June of 2007, Joe O’Blenis will embark on a solo sea kayaking circumnavigation of British Columbia’s rugged Vancouver Island, an expedition of roughly 1150 kilometers (just over 700 miles). Joe will attempt to complete the fastest circumnavigation of the Island thus far by solo kayak, breaking the current record of 28 days (held by Leon SommÃ©). His goal for this expedition will be to complete the journey in a time of 21 days or under, a very ambitious endeavor considering the conditions he will face.
The expedition will begin in Nanaimo on the east coast of Vancouver Island and will proceed in a counter-clockwise direction around the Island.
Joe will be paddling a â€œGreenland Raceâ€ kayak from Nigel Dennis/ Sea Kayaking UK and will be outfitted in Kokatat paddling gear. An additional goal of the trip is to prove the effectiveness of using a Greenland Paddle on extended expeditions, taking advantage of the superior paddling efficiency and lower impact on the paddler’s body.
Joe has been paddling for 31 years. His background includes numerous years of marathon canoe and kayak racing, a solo Cross Canada canoe expedition in 2004, a 275 kilometer 1-day paddle in 2003 and numerous other smaller expeditions of up to 1000 kilometers. â€œIn taking on this latest challenge, I am looking forward to once again pushing my limits and, hopefully, bringing â€œThe Recordâ€ home to Canada. I believe that the combination of the Greenland Race sea kayak by Nigel Dennis, the effectiveness of the Greenland Paddles along with the world class expedition equipment and clothing of Kokatat will prove to be the winning formula for this newest endeavorâ€ says Joe.
Watch for updates on the expedition’s preparations and progress at: www.geocities.com/outrageous_outdoors
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