"Amazon River Raft Race now an international event, with teams from
Britain, Belgium, France, Netherlands, USA, Canada, Peru and other
TORONTO, Oct. 1, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadians Greg Harris and Pablo Grossi,
were part of a four person raft team (True North Rafting) which won the
international division of the Amazon River International Raft Race (the
"Amazon Raft Race") which concluded last week. The Amazon Raft Race
was recently certified by Guinness World Records as the longest raft
race in the world.
Recreational and competitive athletes are continually searching for
greater challenges to push their physical and mental limits and the
Amazon Raft Race certainly succeeds in fulfilling that need.
The race, in its fifteenth year, takes place over 3 days on an
approximate 200 km section of the Amazon River in Peru. This year, 28
teams from around the world had one day to construct log rafts using
eight 15 foot long telephone pole sized balsawood logs and other
supplies like twine, machetes, nails, and locally scavenged goods; and
then over the next 3 days, raced down the Amazon River.
Each day of the Amazon Raft Race, competitors raced against each other
in timed segments. Each night, teams slept in tents in local
rainforest villages or, in one case, on the floors of a local village
public school. At the conclusion of the race, the team with the
fastest cumulative time for all three days was declared the winner in
each category (with both international and Peruvian national
Each raft was manned by four person teams and the True North Rafting
team consisted of Pablo Grossi (Canada), Greg Harris (Canada), Debby
Chen (USA) and Carlos Marichi (Peru). The True North team won each
segment of the three day race and finished over one hour ahead of its
nearest competitor in the international division.
The Amazon River and surrounding jungle are home to deadly piranha,
anacondas, caimans and candiru fish, as well as whirlpools and unusual
current conditions, which can make the longest raft race in the world
even more stressful. A number of individuals required medical
attention during and post-race (mostly related to dehydration,
exhaustion and muscle/tissue damage), but there were no serious
The opening ceremonies were held in the local Amazon River city of
Nauta; after which competitors were transported by boat to Pescadores
Island (Fisherman's Island) where raft construction began in earnest.
Over the next three days, the teams raced to Peruvian rainforest
villages Nueva Esperanza and Tamshiyacu and finished in Iquitos, Peru.
Iquitos is the largest city in the world that is only accessible by air
or by water. The last kilometer of the race requires the exhausted
teams to paddle upstream to cross the finish line. Each day during the
race, teams not at the local checkpoint by 5:00 p.m. were towed by the
Peruvian Coast Guard for safety reasons and assessed a two hour time
When speaking about the race, Greg Harris stated, "The Amazon River is
not a fast flowing river of the type we normally associate with
white-water rafting here in Canada. The river is very wide (varying
between 1.6 and 10 km) and at many times feels more like a lake than a
river. Paddling almost 200 km is the equivalent of crossing Lake
Ontario on a log raft two and one half times".
Canadian team member Pablo Gross commented, "We were concerned with the
potential deadly predators that make the Amazon River their home;
however, we rationalized that since most of those creatures live in the
water, we would do our best not to fall in."
At the awards ceremony, the True North Rafting team donated the $5,000
cash prize to the Tapaiche Reserve in Peru, a nature reserve operated
with the aim of promoting the sustainability and diversity of the
Peruvian Rainforest. The attached photo shows the True North Rafting
team with their medals, trophy and cash prize. Other photos of the
team, race and raft are available on request.
About Greg Harris
Greg Harris is a 49 year old corporate securities lawyer with Harris +
Harris LLP in Toronto, Ontario. When not practicing law, Greg is an
avid mountaineer having already climbed five of the infamous seven
summits, with only Mount Everest (scheduled April 2014) and Mount
Vinson (scheduled December 2014) still unclimbed.
About Pablo Grossi
Pablo Grossi is the 36 year old owner and a lead instructor at Energy
Karate (a martial arts school located in Vaughan, Ontario) and Energy
Fitbox (cardio-kickboxing gyms located in Thornhill and Woodbridge,
Ontario). He has hiked both Mount Hua Shan (China) and El Caminito del
Rey (Spain), known as two of the most dangerous hikes in the world.
Image with caption: "True North Rafting Team with first place trophy, medals and cash prize. (CNW Group/Harris + Harris LLP)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131001_C6259_PHOTO_EN_31577.jpg
SOURCE: Harris + Harris LLP
For further information:
about Greg Harris or Pablo Gross and their participation in the Amazon River International Raft Race (or additional team and race photographs, including photos of the winning raft), please contact Nicole Cristiano, at (905) 629-7800 x237 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Greg Harris can be reached at (905) 629-7800 x 240, or by email at email@example.com