Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Congratulations on finishing tough race
The 51st annual Texas Water Safari has come and gone, and we are glad to say it was a safe, successful year.
Last year, the race was marred by the first death of a participant. Brad Ellis, a 30-year-old Dripping Springs resident, died after consuming too much water during the race. Because of that tragic loss, race officials chose to amend three rules to allow for a second team captain, let captains hand off food and medical supplies to the racers and also says no pace boats may be on the river during the race.
These changes are a good adjustment to make the race safer for all involved, and we are glad this year did not see a repeat of last year's loss. The Texas Water Safari has earned the title of the world's toughest canoe race, and we are pleased to see the organizers are continuing to make this race safe despite the challenges.
We applaud each of the participants for being brave enough to take part in this extreme physical challenge. The race course is 260 miles long from San Marcos to Seadrift, and competitors have 100 hours to reach the finish line. That is a daunting task, but this year, the team FrednThemGuys in boat 4106 crossed the finish line in 39 hours and 43 minutes. That is an amazing feat, and we are impressed with this team's stamina and dedication.
This event was filled with amazing stories, from Ian Rolls, who completed the race solo after losing his friend Ellis during last year's race, to Jon Newcomb, who was the last to finish within the 100-hour time limit after his partner had to drop out of the race because of complications from a leg wound he suffered while serving in Iraq.
Each of these stories are inspiring, and we applaud all of the men and women who took the time and effort to train for this demanding race. Every one of the participants is a source of inspiration, and we appreciate their energy and drive. The Texas Water Safari is a wonderful event for our area, and we are glad to see it go on without any major problems.
Thank you to all of the organizers, volunteers, participants and more who make this annual athletic event such a successful, enjoyable experience. We look forward to next year's competition.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.