Victoria Evans sets solo rowing record, 2022 AAC awards and more stories to start your week


From the inspiring to the tragic, here’s GearJunkie’s roundup of the week’s exploration and adventure news. Here’s what you missed and a few things to look forward to.

On March 24, a 35-year-old lawyer from London broke the world record for the fastest female solo crossing across the Atlantic. Victoria Evans is one of 11 women to accomplish the feat, according to ExplorersWeb. Evans left the Canary Islands on February 11 and arrived in Barbados after 40 days and 19 hours of rowing. His time to cross the distance of 2,559 nautical miles surpassed the standing record of 9 days.

The young lawyer started training for the challenge 3 years ago and raised GBP 24,000 for women in sport through his non-profit organization, Sea Change Sport.

The American Alpine Club (AAC) held its annual gathering and benefit gala in Denver March 25-26. The summit hosted mountain athletes and climbing activists from across the state to discuss current politics and culture, create initiatives, and celebrate the sport’s greatest accomplishments.

The gala, hosted by Cody Kaemmerlen and Meagan Martin, recognized outstanding achievement in conservation, climbing and service to the climbing community. Friends of the Great Walls/Legends Mark Hudon and Jordan Cannon acted as keynote speakers. A full replay of the benefit is available at

2022 AAC Climbing Award Recipients

  • Joe Terracchia: Robert and Miriam Underhill Award for Outstanding Achievement in Rock Climbing
  • Sean Bailey and Natalia Grosman: Robert Hicks Bates Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Young Climber
  • Jean Heilprin and John Kascenska: Angelo Heilprin Citation for Exemplary Service to the AAC
  • Rick Reese: David R. Brower Conservation Award for his commitment to preserving mountain regions around the world (posthumously)
  • Arlene Blum and Steve Roper: Honorary member to advance rock climbing in a sustainable and meaningful way
  • Pat Ament: H. Adams Carter Literary Award for Excellence in Climbing Literature
  • David Nyman: David A. Sowles Memorial Award for rescuing fellow climbers in peril in the mountains

On Saturday, March 26, a fast-moving wildfire near Boulder, Colorado, forced the evacuation of nearly 8,000 homes and 20,000 people. As of 5:00 p.m. MST on March 27, firefighters had contained approximately 35% of the blaze and authorities had lifted all evacuation orders. No fire-related structural damage or injuries were reported.

As of this writing, all arteries except NCAR Road have reopened. Trails in the area remained closed and information about these closures is available at

The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup season kicks off this weekend with the downhill competition in Lourdes, France. Amaury Pierron (FRA) and Camille Balanche (SUI) respectively took first place in the men’s and women’s categories. View event highlights here.

Petropolis, Brazil is the next stop on the UCI MTB calendar, with XCO and XCC races from April 8-10.

Amaury Pierron (pictured) and Camille Balanche won the first downhill race of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Lourdes, France; (photo/Bartek Wolinski, Red Bull content pool)

Scott Miller, Paul Cox, Joe Mann and Wally Werderich are ultra-distance canoe racers, and next spring they will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for fastest paddle on the Mississippi River. Miller and three other teammates attempted the 2,300-mile feat in the spring of 2021, but bad weather stopped them just 130 miles from the mark.

The 2023 Crew announced their goal early last week as the “Mississippi Speed ​​Record” team on instagram. Training and fundraising are already underway. Learn more and pick up support gifts at

Mississippi River
Speed ​​Record: Team achieves fastest paddling effort on the Mississippi River; 2nd team in fiery pursuit
A team of four, led by a father-daughter duo, claims to have broken the 18-year-old speed record for paddling the full length of the Mississippi River. Read more…

Saturday March 26 saw the long-awaited return of the Valencia Trail Race in SoCal. Characterized by an elevated single track, rolling hills, and sweeping views of the Santa Clarita Valley, the VTR offered 50k, half marathon, and 10k competitions.

Los Angeles runner Chris Espino won this year’s 50K in a record 3:59:17, more than 30 minutes ahead of silver medalist Jerry Garcia (GearJunkie can neither confirm nor deny the latter’s propensity for The Grateful Dead).

Next week on the World Adventure Racing Circuit:

Eco-Challenge Bike Gear
Who owns a sportswoman? The Adventure Racing World Series Debate Heats Up
The Adventure Racing World Series organization cites a “deliberate copying” of its name and an attempt to “rewrite history” as a new racing series plans to host the 2022 Adventure Racing World Championships. Read the following…


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