Wenonah canoe is sponsoring us!
We are excited to announce Wenonah canoe company as a sponsor of our world record attempt. We had decided that we wanted to paddle a four person canoe they make called the Minnesota IV, for a number of reasons:
1) we thought it had the right combination of speed and stability
2) we thought we could create a comfortable place in the boat for one person to sleep while the other three paddle (this is the way we plan to paddle most of the time)
3) we love Wenonah canoes, having paddled them throughout our lives
—KJ paddled a Wenonah Whitewater II with Steve Eckelkamp when they set the world record for fastest trip down the Mississippi River in 1980.
—Scott paddled a Wenonah Champlain with Todd Foster and Matt Lutz when they went from the Twin Cities to Hudson Bay in 2005
—We’ve paddled Wenonah canoes on many rivers and in the Boundary Waters. Wenonah also makes kayaks under the Current Design name, and KJ paddled a Current Design kayak on the Amazon River and up the west coast of Canada.
4) they are a Minnesota company that makes their boats right in Winona, right on the Mississippi River.
Yesterday the four of us went down to the city of Winona, on the Mississippi River two hours south of the Twin Cities. We paddled a Minnesota IV under the guidance of George Arimond, who has been racing canoes since the 1960’s and has done research on the most efficient, powerful canoe stroke. In the video you can see KJ and Casey paddling the stern half of the boat, upstream! Then we met with Mike Loomen, Sales Manager for Wenonah. We discussed with Mike which Wenonah canoes would be the best fit for us as we train over the next year (we will use the Minnesota IV when we train with three or four paddlers, a Wenonah Minnesota II when we train with two paddlers, and a Wenonah Voyager when we train as solo paddlers) then he gave us a tour of their manufacturing process, showing us the step-by-step process required to form the powerful, flexible Kevlar fabric into the shape of a canoe using a custom mold and finely engineered layers of epoxy; it’s a process that takes a few weeks start to finish and results in beautiful, lightweight canoes. We can’t wait to use our new Minnesota IV in a few weeks when we do our first multi-day training trip!