River Pirates

On June 8 2019, JT Van Zandt and Lauren Spalding set out to finish the Texas Water Safari – a 260+ mile, non-stop canoe race from the headwaters of the San Marcos River in the town of San Marcos to Seadrift, TX, on the Gulf Coast.

Competitors have 100 hours to finish. Competing for the 6th time, JT knew what he was in for, having traversed the course once in a six-man canoe, once solo, once in an aluminum canoe, and other times with various partners. This year, he recruited his new friend Lauren, former Olympian and champion ocean paddler, to be his partner in the mixed category. This is their story.