2019 Algonquin Outfitters Muskoka River X 

WOW! What a race.   The weather can best be described as a case of Jekyll and Hyde.   Everyone expected wind and rain but the forecast was far from accurate.  For the Coureur des Bois on Friday, light fog, calm waters and perfect conditions greeted the 15 teams as they left the Couples Resort . By nightfall however the forecast of rain had turned into a tropical downpour with active lightening, thunder, and high wind.  All in all, an amazing demonstration of backcountry fortitude was exhibited with 12 of the original 15 teams arriving at the Oxtongue camp site.  Similarly, Saturday morning welcomed all teams to calm waters on Pen Lake but Aipaloovik showed up in a very bad mood and punished all those who traveled Mary Lake.  The wind, forecasted out of the west actually blew almost straight up the center of the lake.  The west side of Mary Lake with it’s steep rock faces should have provided shelter with a westerly but instead the change in wind direction created a wasteland of standing waves in a area with few options.  Most teams crawled their way south on the east side, emptying their boats at cottage docks and helping other teams that swamped.  By the time the race moved past Port Sydney 10 teams had either withdrawn or were rescued.  With Mary Lake behind them, the remaining teams soldiered on towards Bracebridge.  As the fatigue of a demanding day settled in the 4pm cut-off for the Classic and Coureur des Bois loomed large. Many found their race ending in Bracebridge, alongside Sprint teams.  For those who did make 4pm, a long and arduous journey upriver to CP2 and Baysville presented may challenges. Ultimately all teams that made 4pm also made Baysville.  As a final conclusion to the race, a decision was made to close Lake of Bays as high waves and wind continued in the open areas and risk to team safety remained, especially with night-fall approaching.  

A special acknowledgement to Mike Crouzat (Team 2 – Riveryeti) and  Johnathon Ayles / Neal McCain (Team 34 – Bentshaft Loons) who forfeited their race by spending precious time rescuing other teams on Mary Lake. As a result, they did not meet the 4pm cut-off.  Both Mike, Johnathon and Neal were recognized for their sportsmanship at the awards banquet and are welcomed back in 2020 with complimentary registration.  

In summary, 2019 was a huge challenge both physically and psychologically.  Absolutely everyone who put a paddle in the water should be proud of her or his achievements.  To provide some context, the MRX has a history of being a tough event especially when conditions are less than ideal. Completing any MRX distance is not guaranteed. Below we have posted completion rates dating back to the original MRX in 2013.  Although 2019 will go in the books as a memorable weekend, it still does not approach what was experienced in 2014 when only 39% of the teams crossed the finish line after battling waves, wind, fog and temperatures approaching freezing. That year, the up-river section from Bracebridge to Port Sydney and a blistering north wind on Mary Lake were the breaking points for most. It was in 2014 that CP3's Hot Tent (Port Sydney) earned it’s nickname, “Hotel California”.  

In all, 67 teams travelled to Muskoka and Algonquin this year from all over the world and as far away as Africa and Belize to get their paddles wet. We are honoured by the paddling community's continued support and wish to thank you for choosing our events.  We recognize that the MRX requires much commitment, planning, training, and resource.  We do not take your presence here lightly. We wish everyone all the best with the rest of the paddling season and we hope to see you again in 2020.

Regarding the 2020 schedule, announcements will be made by newsletter so watch your in-box!


Mike and Rob
June 15-16, 2019
Head-2-Head Double Elimination
Sprint Tournament
THE OX - Sunday
40km Marathon
30km Tri-Paddle
10km Sprint
September 13-15, 2019
223km Coureur des Bois
133km Classic
58km Sprint
Jen MacMillan raced both Algonquin Outfitters THE OX and MUSKOKA RIVER X
and won!
H2O Solo 14-6 Valued at $3195!
Brought to you by H20 Canoes.
Jen Nicholson raced
Algonquin Outfitters MUSKOKA RIVER X
and won!
KAHUNA iTour 12" inflatable SUP package including paddle, leash, fin and travel bag
valued at $1599!
Brought to you by KAHUNA Paddleboards and Algonquin Outfitters
2019 Ontario Ultra Paddling Point Series champ. Celebrating Shawn Urban who sealed his title with a 1st place finish in the K1 Classic.
Honourable mention to Tony Huynh. New to racing this year and paddling strong in all four events, his MRX and the OUPPS Title was cut short due to a broken fin in the SUP Sprint.
Imagine you are a capable voyageur under the employment by a trading company and tasked with transporting goods to remote locations across Muskoka, travelling on lakes and rivers by canoe.   River X Racing gives tribute to these legends of the fur trade with the Voyageur Class. This year, four teams choose to transport hand made wooden crates filled with locally crafted goods from a designated location to the finish line. Their reward for accomplishing this arduous task? Bragging rights of course, and they get to keep the crate and all the goods that it contains.  Three teams opted for the 133km Classic while the fourth made a strong attempt at the 223km Coureur des Bois.  In the end, course conditions were not in their favour and all teams ended early.  Ultimately, all MRX participants shared in their efforts as they opened their crates and took home a cache of wonderfully handcrafted local goods.  A special round of applause to Jamie-leigh Champam and Justin Yatkowski ( Team 30 - Paddlin' YakaChap ), Kristin Nyborg and Karen Dykxhoorn ( Team 32 - GRIP 'EM & RIP 'EM ),  Joal Roshko and Andrew Schwalm ( Team 48 – 84 Sheepdog ) and Mike Veryzer and Carmine Minutillo ( Team 50 - Five-Dollar Swamp-Daddies ) for their super-human efforts.  
You might ask yourself, how much does a crate weigh?  We held a draw where MRX participants could guess the weight to win a prize.  Both Danielle Holdsworth and Lewis Shepherd tied by estimating 43lbs.   The actual weight was 43.12lbs .  That is before the crate gets waterlogged!  Danielle won a carbon fiber bent shaft paddle c/o Ripple FX while Lewis went home with a new Gemini lighting system c/o Algonquin Outfitters. A special THANKS to Algonquin Outfitters, Muskoka Roastery, Muskoka North Good Food Co-Op and Lake of Bays Brewery for their assistance in filling these crates.

2019 Overall Completion Rate:  60%
Coureur des Bois:  40%
Classic: 58%
Sprint: 76%
Voyageur Class:  0%
2018 Overall Completion Rate:  86%
Classic: 75%
Sprint: 100%
Voyageur: 50%
2017 Overall Completion Rate:  90%
Classic: 84%
Sprint: 97%
2016 Overall Completion Rate: 80%
Coureur des Bois:  100%
Classic: 77%
Sprint: 79%
2015 Overall Completion Rate: 68% 
Coureur des Bois: 76%
Classic: 66%
2014 Classic: 39% 
2013 Classic: 66%
Thank You to Our Sponsors
Rich Swift & his team at ALGONQUIN OUTFITTERS
For their continued support over the last 7 years of racing. Without AO, River X would not be able to host the events that we do. AO provides essential services such as logistics, transportation, rental services, use of property, human resource, photography and videography, and prizing. AO is a full service outfitter and offers everything that you need for your River X adventure. Support the River X by supporting your local and privately owned outfitter, Algonquin Outfitters
Jeff Hill and H2O Paddlesport
For their continued support over the last 3 years of racing. H20 provides our Grand Prize. Jeff has also been providing Ontario and the paddling community with an expanding menu of racing canoes that meet all classes. Having access to high-quality and competitive canoes made locally in Ontario is a huge benefit to you. Work directly with Jeff to build your next speed machine.
Badger Paddles
Local craftsmanship of the highest standard. Mike and Fiona Ramsay create the annual OUPPS and MRX paddle trophies.
KAHUNA Paddlboards
For their continued support over the last two years of racing. Kahuna provides our second grand prize and continues to produce high quality SUP boards such as the new 14x27.5 MANA, a crossover board between Race and Touring which is perfect for the long/mixed conditions of River X.
The North Face
TNF came on board with River X a number of years ago and has faithfully been providing top quality prizes. High quality outer wear and gear. You'll need it racing the MRX. Available at Algonquin Outfitters.

SALUS Marine
Salus has been filling out prize table for 7 years. In our humble opinion, the best jackets on the market. How do we know? River X Mike's Gjoa is 18 yrs old and still going strong! Available at Algonquin Outfitters.
Gemini Lighting Systems
If you are going to race the Muskoka River X you will need lights. Gemini has you covered. Proven design and functionality. Used by some of the top MRX teams. Available at Algonquin Outfitters.
Full carbon bent shaft canoe racing paddles. Designed with input from some of the best marathon paddlers in Ontario and made to order by Chris Pratter, right here in Ontario. Chris can even add any full colour logo so you stand out on the water...and the finish line! 
Basecamp for the Algonquin Outfitters Muskoka River X. Registration, race briefing, start, finish and awards. Your one stop park and paddle location.
Where else would you stay?
We couldn't have found a better place to host the post-race awards for our "gun-slinger" event, THE OX Battle of the Paddle than the Cookhouse Saloon.
The original hydration packs.
Adaptable to any outdoor activity.
Don't be thirsty. Be a Camel.
Located a short portage from the Muskoka River in Baysville. Make your training day end on a refreshing note. Severed cold and complimentary at the MRX Awards Banquet.
Interested in racing multi-sport off-road adventures? Ontario has a full schedule of races to suit all skill levels, including the Muskoka River X.

Kawartha Paddle Quest 50
Mattawa Canoe Race 64
MRX 58/133/223
Getting serious about being competitive? With a full roster of qualified coaches, weekend clinics and even private training plans visit OMCKRA and become a member. Your Ontario Marathon Canoe and Kayak Racing Association. 
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