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The Texas Water Safari, 260 miles long and billed as the world's toughest canoe race, kicked off its 51st paddling Saturday morning in San Marcos. The race is expected to last through Monday as teams make their way down the Guadalupe River to Seadrift.

Spectators on the bank of the Guadalupe River at Staples Dam in Staples, the first official checkpoint on the Texas Water Safari course, clap and cheer as paddling teams approach Saturday afternoon. 226 people in 117 boats entered the 2013 race, which is now in its 51st year.

Published on June 8, 2013

The 2013 Texas Water Safari kicked off Saturday morning at the Aquarena Center in San Marcos, where 117 teams prepared to race down 260 miles of the Guadalupe River in canoes. The race is expected to last through Monday.

Published on June 8, 2013

Team co-captain Chris Juarez, left, moves to help paddler John Valdivia during a brief stop at the first official checkpoint of the Texas Water Safari course at Staples Dam in Staples Saturday afternoon. Race rules were changed this year to allow for more than one captain per team, and to allow captains to pass food and other supplies directly to paddlers at certain points along the course. Valdivia, a resident of Victoria, is racing in the Water Safari for the second time this year.

Published on June 8, 2013

The 2013 Texas Water Safari kicked off Saturday morning at the Aquarena Center in San Marcos, where 117 teams prepared to race down 260 miles of the Guadalupe River in canoes. The race is expected to last through Monday.

Published on June 8, 2013

Racers paddle away from the starting line of the Texas Water Safari at Spring Lake in San Marcos Saturday morning. 226 people in 117 canoes entered the 2013 race, which is now in its 51st year.

Published on June 8, 2013

Published on June 8, 2013

The 2013 Texas Water Safari kicked off Saturday morning at the Aquarena Center in San Marcos, where 117 teams prepared to race down 260 miles of the Guadalupe River in canoes. The race is expected to last through Monday.

Published on June 8, 2013

The 2013 Texas Water Safari kicked off Saturday morning at the Aquarena Center in San Marcos, where 117 teams prepared to race down 260 miles of the Guadalupe River in canoes. The race is expected to last through Monday.

Published on June 8, 2013

The paddling team of Charlie Stewart, Chris Paddack, Chuck Stewart, Jim Weber, Pete Binion, and Vance Sherrod awards this rock each year to the person with the most accurate guess at their finishing time in the 260-mile Texas Water Safari. The team's boat number, 82, represents the total Water Safari races finished by all team members put together.

Published on June 8, 2013

The 2013 Texas Water Safari kicked off Saturday morning at the Aquarena Center in San Marcos, where 117 teams prepared to race down 260 miles of the Guadalupe River in canoes. The race is expected to last through Monday.

Published on June 8, 2013

Debbie Richardson, center, and teammates maneuver their canoe over the Staples Dam in Staples, at the first official checkpoint on the Texas Water Safari race course.

Published on June 8, 2013

From left, Pavan Dendi, 30, Jason Embertson, 27, and Jacob Migliazzo, 31, prepare their canoe for the start of the 51st annual Texas Water Safari at the Aquarena Center in San Marcos Saturday morning. This is the team's first time competing in the race.

Published on June 8, 2013

The 2013 Texas Water Safari kicked off Saturday morning at the Aquarena Center in San Marcos, where 117 teams prepared to race down 260 miles of the Guadalupe River in canoes. The race is expected to last through Monday.

Published on June 8, 2013

Teams warm up on Spring Lake in San Marcos before the start of the Texas Water Safari Saturday morning. The race is expected to last through Monday.

Published on June 8, 2013

Texas Water Safari race official Mic Chrisman, right, of New Braunfels, keeps an eye out for approaching canoes as sweep judge Mary Wilson, left, of Austin, keeps track of team arrivals at the course's first official checkpoint, Staples Dam in Staples. 226 paddlers in 117 teams entered the 2013 race.

Published on June 8, 2013

Ian Rolls, 35, arrives at the first official checkpoint on the Texas Water Safari course, at Staples Dam in Staples, Saturday morning. Last year was Rolls' first appearance in the race, but his attempt was cut short just south of Gonzales when his paddling partner, 30-year-old Brad Ellis, died suddenly from low blood salt levels as a result of drinking an excessive amount of water. At the time, Ellis was the first fatality in race history.

Published on June 8, 2013

Debbie Richardson, 46, and a teammate carry their canoe to the starting line of the Texas Water Safari at the Aquarena Center in San Marcos Saturday morning. 226 people in 117 teams signed up for the 2013 race, which covers 260 miles of the Guadalupe River.

Published on June 8, 2013