April 22-29, 2018
The 2018 LRR Challenge on the Savannah River starts on Sunday April 22, 2018 at Augusta Georgia.
The 2018 LRR Challenge is an approximately 235 mile expedition down the Savannah River and north along the coast to Edisto Beach. This years Challenge will be held in three stages. Stage 1 is 11 miles to New Savannah Bluff. Stage 2 is from New Savannah Bluff to Millstone Landing. Stage 3 is from Millstone Landing to the finish at Edisto Watersports on Edisto Beach.
Many say they would like to travel from the midlands to the sea along this waterway. Very few people have done it. Here is your chance. This is an extreme event meant only for those with significant experience with their chosen watercraft.
The LRR Challenge entry fee is $200 for boat and captain plus $100 per additional crew member. Early registration and payment deadline is April 7th, 2018. If you are interested, we encourage you to register early so that you do not miss the deadline. Registration after April 1st is $225 per boat and captain plus $125 per additional crew member. There will be no event-day registration.
LRR Challenge (235 miles)
Starting from downtown Augusta, Georgia challengers will proceed down the Savannah River for approximately 175 miles through mostly undisturbed wilderness to Savannah, Georgia. Once in Savannah, participants will have many route choices to make their way north to the finish at Edisto Watersports on Big Bay Creek on Edisto Beach.
Captain's Meeting: 7:30 AM on April 22. Boat Ramp at 105 Riverfront Drive, Augusta Georgia. Must have ACA Waiver and Registration Materials turned in at beginning of Captain's Meeting.
Start: 8:00 AM April 22, 2018. Boat Ramp at 105 Riverfront Drive, Augusta Georgia.
Checkpoint 1: New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam
Checkpoint 2: Millstone Landing near Hardeeville, SC.
Finish: Edisto Watersports, Edisto Beach, SC. Finish deadline is 1:00 PM April 29.
Awards Ceremony and Awards Lunch: Edisto Watersports, April 29, 12:15 PM.
Stage 1: Boat Ramp at 105 Riverfront Drive, Augusta Georgia to New Savannah Bluff. 11 miles. New Savannah Bluff will be the last bit of civilization for many river miles. Use the first 11 miles to shake down your boat and figure out what you need to adjust, fix, or request any gear, supplies etc. that you may need/desire. (You, or your shore contact(s) will be responsible for retrieving any such needed/desired items.)
Stage 2: New Savannah Bluff to Millstone Landing. Millstone Landing is a required checkpoint for all participants and will be manned by a LRR volunteer. Participants can call it a day at Millstone to skip the dangers of container ships and coastal waters. Those who do so will receive recognition for finishing the Savannah River and an official finish time for stage 1 and Stage 2 course record purposes. Finishing the Savannah River is an accomplishment deserving of recognition.
Stage 3: Millstone Landing to Edisto Watersports on Edisto Beach. Plot your own course. There are many ways to get there. Coastal waters bring increased danger and challenges. Those continuing past Millstone should be experts in their chosen craft and know the challenges and dangers that lie ahead.
Awards Ceremony and Lunch: 12:30 PM, Sunday April 29, 2018.
Just a few of the many hazards to avoid:
1. Savannah River Site and Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant are off limits. Know where their property is located. Don't stop on these premises. You will get a visit and your trip will end.
2. On the approach to Savannah the river splits into numerous channels. One channel is slightly longer but avoids the sea monsters travelling to Port Wentworth to unload containers. They are silent and travel at up to 20 knots. Constantly check your 6 and don't get in their way. They can't avoid you (or see you) and have the legal right of way if there is a collision.
3. The current can rip down the Savannah in the coastal section. Current of 5 or 6 knots is possible on the outgoing tide. This fast current paired with an opposing wind makes water conditions dicey.
4. Paris Island is off limits. Do not stop there. If you stop on Parris Island, the best case scenerio is that you are sternly ordered to leave. The worst case scenerio is that they take it as tacit enlistment in the Marines and we'll see you in 13 weeks at your graduation. Semper Fi!
5. Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. MCAS Beaufort has highly sensitive technology so avoid their property with utmost care. Trespassing on MCAS BFT----you're less likely to get a stern warning and more likely to get a bullet. (We've been "kindly" escorted out of less sensitive areas at gunpoint by getting merely too close to shore in such places ---- it's not an exaggeration).
6. The usual outdoor activity risks including, but not limited to dangerous weather, hypothermia, heat, exhaustion, dehydration, land animals, aquatic animals, commercial shipping, boat traffic, submerged collision hazards, oyster shells, sunburn, poisonous plants, poisonous animals, poisonous insects, falling trees and dangerous humans.
Special Note on Sailing vessels:
Short sailboat FAQ answer: Yes this can be done in a small sailboat and if portage of the New Savannah Bluff Dam is a problem, we have a solution. Sailing vessels may start stage 2 at 12:15 PM below the dam with a 3 hour penalty assessed and no time entry for stage 1.
Long sailboat FAQ answer: Sailing vessels have the option of a 12:15 start from the boat landing below the dam at New Savannah Bluff. LRR will not have equipment available or be able to assist in portage of vessels around the dam. The start penalty for sailing vessels choosing to start at New Savannah Bluff is 3 hours. (If, and only if, ALL sailing vessels start from the New Savannah Bluff, then no penalty will be assessed.)
The route is possible in a small sailboat with an alternative propulsion to wind. A Hobie AI or TI is an ideal boat for this event. We expect Kip's thistle to be blazing fast and have zero problems. A west wight potter 15 with oars would be a luxurious boat for the challenge course.
Though we disagree with the conclusion, please enjoy Bob's perspective from Sailboatowners.com regarding our 2018 route:
"I found those charts very interesting. If indeed those are controlling depths it is conceivable to navigate a vessel down the Savannah River from Augusta, but not a sailboat! If you look at a map of Georgia the run does not go thru many towns and I would bet that probably a dozen or so bridges either they be railroad or two lane vehicular would limit clearance. Its a lonely stretch as it is driving from Augusta to Savannah so supplies and gas would be difficult to obtain unless extra fuel was taken. Add that the river is narrow and meanders and you have a challenging situation. I for one would consider the trip in a 20 - 24 ft cuddy cabin power vessel with shoal draft, short shaft outboard, small back up 5-10 H.P kicker outboard, a case of bug spray, a couple of shotguns so you can shoot back at what ever is shooting at you from the banks, snake bite kits, and enough survival gear to rival a month in the Australian Outback!! Your in deep woods, Georgia Pine and snake country and for most of the way, all alone. If you are really considering this.......study it well, take a trip down to Georgia to that part of the state, call the GA Department of Natural Resources, make a list of each county you would go through, contact each County Department of Health and Sheriff's office and inquire about the river and amenities in each county. Personally, your on the verge of a Lewis and Clark type expedition and I think that alone is worth the adventure, BUT....leave the sailboat at home!!! Bob"