TWS Update in response to COVID-19

April 1, 2020

Due to the current pandemic known as Coronavirus or Covid-19 the Texas Water Safari Board has made the decision to cancel the prelim “River Marathon”, postpone the Texas Water Safari and cancel the Junior Texas Water Safari. 

The prelim “River Marathon,” to be held on May 2, is canceled and will not be rescheduled this year. For those who have already preregistered full refunds will be issued, including the service handling fee.

The Texas Water Safari (TWS) will NOT be held June 13 – 17 (the second weekend in June) but is rescheduled to September 12 – 16.  Race Check-In will be on Friday, September 11. For racers that have preregistered for the Texas Water Safari to be held June 13-17 and chose not to race in September, refunds will be issued upon request by emailing, including the service handling fee.  There will be no price increases this year.  Registration fee will remain at $175 per racer.

The Junior Texas Water Safari will not be held or be rescheduled. 

We know this will not work for all, but the TWS board felt this was the best solution for a fluid situation that changes daily.  This will hopefully allow for the pandemic to play out and allow for a great race this September.

Details are still being ironed out on registration deadlines, how we will determine starting positions, etc.  Once these details are finalized, we will post them on our website and Facebook page. 

This was not an easy decision because we know how important the race is to all, but we felt this is the best solution to help ensure racer’s safety, allow more time to train and for the Coronavirus to run its course.

Texas Water Safari Board

Texas Water Safari

“They don’t call the Texas Water Safari The World’s Toughest Canoe Race’ for nothing. In addition to the length, the challenges include whitewater rapids, multiple portages, and the relentless, soul-sapping Texas heat. Competitors have four days and four hours to paddle from San Marcos, in the center of the state, to the shy little town of Seadrift on the Gulf Coast. There is no prize money for the winners; just Texas-size bragging rights for the finishers.”

Larry Rice, in July 2009 Canoe & Kayak Magazine

The Texas Water Safari is actually comprised of several events including an information seminar, two short races (one of which can be considered as a preliminary race) and of course, the Safari itself – the 260 mile race to Seadrift from the headwaters of the San Marcos River. The Safari itself, billed as the "World's Toughest Boat Race", is an annual race via the San Marcos and Guadalupe rivers, from Aquarena Springs in the college town of San Marcos, to the shrimping village of Seadrift on the Texas coastline, a total distance of 260 miles. The first official race was held in 1963, and is run annually on the second Saturday of June.

The primary requirement is a boat powered only by human muscle. Racers must take all equipment needed with them, receiving only water, ice and food along the way.