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Get ready for the ultimate paddle racing challenge.
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Register for This Year’s Great Alabama 650 Paddle Race

This world-class paddle race is one of the toughest yet most rewarding on the planet. If you think you have what it takes to compete in the Great Alabama 650 race, claim your spot or join the waitlist today.

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Race Rules and Gear

Kayakers, canoeists, and stand-up paddle boarders with the highest levels of endurance, passion, and skill are invited to test their skills on the country’s longest river trail. Winners will be named in three categories: male solo, female solo, and tandem team. Learn more about the race’s rules and requirements below!

Racers must have finished one of the following qualifying races within the last 5 years and must have competed in a solo or two-person tandem in the qualifying race. If you sign up for the 2024 AL650, you must show proof of completion of one of the qualifying races prior to the race start. You may sign up for AL650 when registration opens and then complete a qualifier prior to the start of our race. You must complete the qualifying race you declare no later than August 15th in order to compete in the 2024 AL650.

The race director reserves the right to accept or deny any applicant during the registration process for any reason.

List of Qualifying Races:

  • R2AK – USA (no sails)
  • Yukon 1000 – Canada/USA
  • Yukon River Quest – Canada
  • Everglades Challenge (paddle only, no sails) – USA
  • Suwanee 230 – USA
  • Lowcountry River Rats Challenge 235 – USA
  • Massive Murray Paddle – Australia
  • Texas Water Safari – USA
  • La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge – Belize
  • Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Marathon – UK
  • Loire 725 – France
  • Mississippi 140 – USA
  • Berg River Canoe Marathon – South Africa
  • Last Paddler Standing (30 loops minimum) – USA
  • MR340 (60-hour finish or faster) – USA
  • Dusi Canoe Marathon (non-stop version only) – South Africa
  • Au Sable Canoe Marathon – USA
  • SUP 11 City Tour – Netherlands
  • Kingston to Ottawa (200K distance only) – Canada
  • Tour du Teche – USA

Registration for the 2024 Great Alabama 650 opens November 1, 2023.

Registration will close at the discretion of the race director based on the number of boats signed up.

Each registered boater will be required to show proof to the race director of a completed qualifying race prior to August 15, 2024.

There will be slots allocated per class.

No refund will be provided unless the race is cancelled. In the event of cancellation, racers will be given the option of a refund or deferral to 2025. No exceptions to this rule. Don’t sign up unless you fully intend to do this race.

Note: The organizers reserve the right to refuse your application, entry, or continuation of the race at any time; particularly, if there are any safety doubts with teams or racers, or the rules are being negated.

  1. All teams and racers must attend the pre-race gear inspection and brief on Friday, September 20, 2024. Time and location will be emailed to all participants approximately 1 month before the race.
  2. The race will begin at 10 AM, Saturday, September 21. The race will be a shotgun start for all racers. Racers will then have 10 days to complete the race along the Alabama Scenic River Trail.
  3. Racers are only allowed to use the following non-motorized watercraft: kayak, canoe, or SUP. Racers are allowed to change watercraft throughout the race. No peddle, motor, or sail power is allowed.
  4. Racers are the only ones allowed in watercraft at any time and must complete all sections of the course in a craft approved by the race director at check-in.
  5. The race is crew-supported. Racers may meet crew throughout the race at portage spots and pullouts. This assistance may include restocking of food and supplies, setting up camp, and changing out watercraft. Racers MUST have at least one person act as crew throughout the race. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  6. Crew are not allowed on the water in the vicinity during the race and can only assist racers on land.
  7. All Visas are the responsibility of the racers and must be produced at the pre-race inspection.
  8. Racers must ensure they have personal insurance coverage for the race. The organizers are not responsible for any emergency medical response or medical coverage.
  9. Racers must provide the race with an emergency contact, including phone and email addresses.
  10. Racers must carry at least one cell phone. Racer and crew cell phone numbers must also be provided to the race organizers at the pre-race check-in.
  11. All racers must ensure they have the organizers’ cell/mobile phone number saved in the event of post-emergency extraction contact. This will be issued at the pre-race meeting.
  12. Organizers will provide an online map for pre-race study, as well as maps for pickup at the pre-race meeting, but organizers are not responsible for your navigation or abilities to navigate.
  13. Racers must have a GPS device capable of displaying the race provided GPX file. Racers must be proficient in its use.
  14. Racers will be outfitted with SPOT trackers and must keep them on throughout the race. If a SPOT tracker is damaged or destroyed, the racer is responsible for the cost associated.

The Race

  1. All racers must comply with local law as it relates to life vests. Race organizers may require the wearing of vests during certain sections of the race.
  2. Racers are responsible for their own accurate time management.  You have 10 days to complete this race.
  3. Racers must ensure all campfires are put out and trash collected before leaving rest points.
  4. Racers must support each other if possible in the event of an emergency – any unsportsmanlike behavior with regards to safety will result in disqualification and forfeit of any prize money.
  5. If a racer or crew use the SPOT tracker to signal an emergency, the racer is disqualified. If the racer or crew contact race officials about elements of the race that provide an unfair advantage or are information provided prior to race start then the racer is disqualified.
  6. The race director has the right to disqualify or pull any racer from the race at any time at the director’s discretion. The race director may also cancel the race at any time for any reason, particularly if the safety of the racers is in question.

End of Race

  1. Racers will finish at Fort Morgan in Mobile Bay. Race organizers will retrieve SPOT trackers upon completion. If SPOT trackers are damaged, racers must reimburse the race for the cost.
  2. Racers are responsible for their own travel plans after the race.
  3. Please ensure you allow yourself enough time to catch your exit flight.

The following items are required for all racers:

  • Kayak, Canoe, and/or SUP. You may change out vessels during the race
    Paddles + spare
  • Cell phone with GPS capability – Containing emergency numbers
  • Spot tracker (provide by race)
  • Mapping and hard copy of race rules
  • Food – Up to 10 days worth but you will be able to restock along the route if you wish.
  • Water
    Garbage bag
  • Life jacket – Each racer must carry a U.S. Coast Guard-approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD).
  • 1 x USCG approved Beacon Strobe Light
  • Marine Navigation Lights (Bow and Stern Navigation Lights)
  • 1 x Whistle
  • 1 x pack of waterproof, windproof matches or suitable fire-starting kit
  • 1 x Knife
  • One emergency space bivvy sack per person. (Foil blanket)
  • Waterproof jacket per person
  • Water-resistant electric torch showing a white light + spare batteries
  • Medical Kit – (appropriate emergency first aid kit)
  • Sunscreen
  • Spare dry clothing
  • Cooking equipment
  • Sleeping bag
  • 24 Lithium AAA batteries

The following items are not required but are recommended for all racers:

  • 1 x credit card per team (minimum $1000 limit in case of emergency medical costs)
  • Warm jacket
  • 1 x tent
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Sat Phone
  • Duct Tape
  • Water purifying filter or tablets

Portage Downtimes and Cut-Offs

These downtimes are at each portage and are required for each racer. Racers will not be allowed back on the water until the completion of each time period. A racer entering the water before being given permission by a race official at each portage will be disqualified. A boat must accompany the racers from takeout to put-in but does not have to be the same boat at those two access points.

Takeout and put-in at Weiss will be monitored but racers aren’t required to stop. Checkpoints at Coosa River Adventures in Wetumpka and in Mobile Bay will not have mandatory downtime.

The total time will be subtracted at the end of the race. Since we will have a 10 AM start on the first day, we will add the 4hrs 45 min to the 10th day as buffer time. This means racers will have until 2:45 PM on the 10th day to finish.

TOTAL TIME: 4 hours 45 minutes

  • Weiss: No mandatory downtime (Mile 9)
  • Neely Henry: 45 Minutes (Mile 87)
  • Logan Martin: 45 Minutes (Mile 135)
  • Lay: 30 Minutes (Mile 184)
  • Mitchell: 30 Minutes (Mile 198)
  • Jordan: 30 Minutes (Mile 222)
  • Robert F. Henry: 30 Minutes (Mile 310)
  • Millers Ferry: 30 Minutes (Mile 417)
  • Claiborne: 45 Minutes (Mile 485)

 

CUT-OFF TIMES/LOCATIONS

  • Check Point 1 – Coosa River Adventures (Mile 232) – Tuesday, October 3, 8 PM
  • Check Point 2 – Millers Ferry (Mile 417) – Friday, October 6, 10 AM

Frequently Asked Questions

The Great Alabama 650 is an epic paddle race along the longest river trail in any U.S. state, stretching across the state of Alabama from northeast to southwest. Covering everything from class V rapids to serene and beautiful river deltas, this adventure will push paddlers to new limits—and earn them the distinction of world-class athletes.

The race is 650 miles long and racers have up to 10 days to complete it. The current record is 4 days, 17 hours, and 4 minutes, set by Paul Cox & Joe Mann in 2021.

The race follows the original 650-mile Alabama Scenic River Trail route. It begins on Weiss Lake in northeast Alabama and finishes at Fort Morgan in Mobile Bay.

The start of the race is at Weiss Lake in northeast Alabama. Headed North on Cedar Bluff Rd the boat ramp and parking will be on the left side of the road. The race will begin at 10 AM on Saturday, September 30.

The race ends at Fort Morgan at the tip of Mobile Bay.

We’ve amassed a network of trusted outfitters that paddlers in Alabama can trust. Click here to browse our list of ASRT-approved outfitters and guides by region. Many of these outfitters are also gear retailers. For more information about where to purchase camping or paddling gear, contact the Race Director.

Yes, there is a race entry fee of $500 USD. This fee is non-refundable unless the race is canceled.

Racers can sign up for Male Solo, Female Solo, or Two-Person Team divisions. Teams can be male/male, female/female, or male/female. Racers must have at least one crewperson to assist them throughout the race.

Yes! Winners of the Great Alabama 650 in each of the three divisions will receive $2,000 USD in prize money.

Yes. All racers will receive a waiver prior to the race at packet pickup that must be signed.

Get in Touch

Have questions about the ASRT or want to get involved? Send us a message!