Victoria rower to compete in endurance race from Washington to Alaska

Victoria’s Colin Angus is no stranger to choppy seas and endurance crushing rowing.

Angus and his now wife Julie Wafaei crossed the Atlantic nine years ago using nothing but their own arm strength.

The couple rowed, skiied and cycled for 43,000 kilometres in two years, getting caught up in hurricanes and surviving shark encounters, but had eventually circumnavigated the globe.

Now, Angus is up for another challenge, which may prove to be more grueling than powering one’s way around the world.

He will be competing in a 750-mile rowing race from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska this June.

The competitors will go completely unsupported and without motors for seven to ten days.

Angus says unlike his other expeditions where his main job was to go from point A to point B with few imposed time constraints, this race is bound to have a different set of challenges.

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“We were not pushing ourselves too hard and going at a comfortable pace. This is very different,” says Angus. “We are going to be going 24/7, day and night, pushing hard. It definitely will be taking its toll.”

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A few dozen participants will go oar to oar with Angus and his sailing partner.

The first leg of the race will take them to Victoria and from there, it is non-stop all the way to Ketchikan.

Angus says how long the race will take will depend on how well their boat will be performing and what conditions they encounter en route.

“It is sort of like an endurance marathon, but in a boat, as opposed to on land,” he adds. “You are putting 110 per cent into this and you are going to be so worn out.”

On top of physical and mental training, Angus is also designing his own competition boat, which he will be testing in a few weeks.

“It is exciting and scary at the same time,” he says. “I am excited to put it in the water, but scared it will not perform quite like I hoped.”

PHOTO: A work in progress. Colin Angus is hard at work on his new competition boat. 

Angus says he is looking for sea-worthiness and reliability in an ideal boat.

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“In the Pacific Northwest, it is very dangerous, the biggest thing being the temperatures that we face. It can be a precarious situation. It is also about being able to move efficiently with two people inside and making use of winds and currents.”

You can follow Angus’ progress on his Facebook page Angus Adventures.

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