A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 27, 2013
World’s Toughest Boat Race (Texas Water Safari)

The Texas Water Safari began in 1963; the route is 262 miles from San Marcos to Seadrift, Texas. “The world’s toughest boat race”—a trademarked name—was cited in print in April 1963. “The world’s toughest canoe race”—not trademarked—has been cited in print since June 1968.


Wikipedia: Texas Water Safari
The Texas Water Safari, billed as the “World’s Toughest Canoe Race”, is a trek down waterways from San Marcos, Texas, to Seadrift, Texas. The total distance traveled is 262 miles. Racers must take all food and equipment needed with them, receiving only water and ice along the way. The primary requirement is a boat powered only by human muscle. The event was first held in 1963, and is run annually.

In 1962 Frank Brown and Bill “Big Willie” George decided to navigate from San Marcos to Corpus Christi, Texas, without a motor. They wanted to share this month-long journey with others, so in 1963 they held the first Texas Water Safari.

The race is scheduled to begin on the second Saturday of June of each year, unless extremely inclement weather prevents it from being held safely.

Texas Water Safari
“They don’t call the Texas Water Safari The World’s Toughest Canoe Race’ for nothing. In addition to the length, the challenges include whitewater rapids, multiple portages, and the relentless, soul-sapping Texas heat. Competitors have four days and four hours to paddle from San Marcos, in the center of the state, to the shy little town of Seadrift on the Gulf Coast. There is no prize money for the winners; just Texas-size bragging rights for the finishers.”
Larry Rice, in July 2009 Canoe & Kayak Magazine


The Texas Water Safari is actually comprised of several events including an information seminar, two short races (one of which can be considered as a preliminary race) and of course, the Safari itself – the 260 mile race to Seadrift from the headwaters of the San Marcos River. The Safari itself, billed as the “World’s Toughest Boat Race”, is an annual race via the San Marcos and Guadalupe rivers, from Aquarena Springs in the college town of San Marcos, to the shrimping village of Seadrift on the Texas coastline, a total distance of 260 miles. The first official race was held in 1963, and is run annually on the second Saturday of June.

28 April 1963, Corpus Christi (TX) Caller-Times, “Lone Local Entry: 500 Mile Race Will Test Crew’s Craft and Courage” by Bill Wallraven, pg. 6B, col. 1:
At least only one local entry is listed among the 64 boats which will push off tomorrow morning in what is billed “the world’s toughest boat race” from San Marcos to Corpus Christi.

Google News Archive
14 February 1965, Victoria (TX) Advocate, “Outdoors: 3rd Texas Water Safari” by Fred W. Strong, pg. 14A, col. 1:
Billed as the “world’s toughest boat race,” the Water Safari will be even tougher this year with about 30 miles added to the course...most of them across Matagorda Bay, one of the biggest and roughest on the Texas coast.

Google Books
June 1968, Popular Mechanics, “Down To The Sea In Ships—The Hard Way” by Tom Buckner, pg. 82:
In the world’s toughest canoe race, rugged boatmen strain day and night to paddle down 419 miles or river and through 50 miles of open sea.

Google New Archive
27 May 1976, Mid-Cities Daily News (Hurst-Euless-Bedford, TX), “Entertainment roundup,” pg. 5, col. 7:
“THE WORLD’S TOUGHEST BOAT RACE,” the annual Texas Water Safari, will be held June 5-9.

Google News Archive
1 June 1976, Victoria (TX) Advocate, “14th Annual Water Safari: 30 Entries Likely In Race,” pg. 10A, col. 2:
Officials of the 14th annual Texas Water Safari expect about 30 entries in the world’s toughest canoe race by the time starting guns fire at 9 a.m. Saturday near the headwaters of the San Marcos River.

Google Books
Hill Country Treasures:
The best people, places, and events from the Hill Country sun magazine

By Allan C. Kimball
Wimberley, TX: Sun Country Publications
1999
Pg. 6:
The Texas Water Safari — hailed as the world’s toughest boat race — is the ultimate test of skill, nerves, and endurance. Only a handful of the 60 or so canoe teams who enter this non-stop paddling marathon along 260 miles of Texas rivers, swamps, and bays will reach the finish line in Seadrift on the Gulf of Mexico.

Mason County (TX) News
Outdoors Outpost
World’s Toughest Paddler

Kendal Hemphill
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 • Posted July 11, 2013
People ask me, just about every spring, if I plan to compete in the Texas Water Safari. These people are invariably unfamiliar with me, or unfamiliar with the Texas Water Safari, or both. Usually both. The only other option is that they’re just yanking my chain. Asking me if I’m going to do the TWS is like asking Michael Moore if he plans to compete in the Boston Marathon, or asking Joe Biden if he plans to say something intelligent. It’s possible, I guess, but statistically unlikely.

The Texas Water Safari is a boat race from San Marcos to Seadrift, a distance of approximately 37,000 miles. There are multiple sets of rapids along the route, and many portages, logjams, and other encumberances, not to mention the oppressive heat of a Texas June. Oh, and cottonmouths. Plenty of those. It’s no wonder the TWS is called the World’s Toughest Boat Race.

(Trademark)
Word Mark TEXAS WATER SAFARI
Goods and Services IC 021. US 002 013 023 029 030 033 040 050. G & S: Insulating sleeve holders for beverage containers. FIRST USE: 19990905. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19990905
IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: Shirts, t-shirts and hats. FIRST USE: 19630601. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19630601
IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Entertainment service, namely staging canoe races; educational service, namely, conducting seminars in the field of water sports, providing information about water sports on a web-site accessible via a global computer communication network. FIRST USE: 19630601. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19630601
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 76254028
Filing Date May 7, 2001
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition August 20, 2002
Registration Number 2648650
Registration Date November 12, 2002
Owner (REGISTRANT) TEXAS WATER SAFARI CORPORATION, THE NON-PROFIT CORPORATION TEXAS PO BOX 686 San Marcos TEXAS 78666
Attorney of Record Michael S. Metteauer
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE “TEXAS WATER” APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Type of Mark TRADEMARK. SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20121108.
Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 20121108
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

(Trademark)
Word Mark WORLD’S TOUGHEST BOAT RACE
Goods and Services IC 021. US 002 013 023 029 030 033 040 050. G & S: Insulating sleeve holders for beverage containers. FIRST USE: 19990905. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19990905
IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: Shirts, t-shirts and hats. FIRST USE: 19630601. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19630601
(CANCELLED) IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: [ Entertainment services, namely, staging canoe races; educational services, namely, conducting seminars in the field of water sports, providing information about water sports on a web-site accessible via a global computer communication network ]. FIRST USE: 19630601. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19630601
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 76253818
Filing Date May 7, 2001
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition February 11, 2003
Change In Registration CHANGE IN REGISTRATION HAS OCCURRED
Registration Number 2712714
Registration Date May 6, 2003
Owner (REGISTRANT) TEXAS WATER SAFARI CORPORATION, THE NON-PROFIT CORPORATION TEXAS 106 Eastwood San Marcos TEXAS 78666
Attorney of Record Michael S. Metteauer
Type of Mark TRADEMARK. SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL-2(F)
Affidavit Text SECT 15. PARTIAL SECT 8 (6-YR).
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Saturday, July 27, 2013 • Permalink