Alex de Sain – Amsterdam, The Netherlands – All round extreme sportsman.
I have been into extreme sports since childhood. Skateboarding, wind surfing and body boarding, I have loved it all since I was 8 years old.
I was born in Sudan, my (Dutch) father was stationed there and my (Greek) mother was living with her parents in a game park when they met. Most of my early childhood was spent with my grandparents and wild animals, while my parents were travelling in Africa. After my father passed away I returned to the Netherlands, where I spent my teenage years. My favourite sport was BMX . After my mandatory service with the Dutch Army Special Forces for two years, which trained me to be a survivor in many aspects of my life, upon leaving the army this training was a great benefit when I travelled the world as a professional IT specialist whilst in the meantime being a surf team rider for several big brands. In my younger years this was the excitement that I needed but now that I have gotten older I found the excitement in another direction pushing myself to new endurance levels. Whilst in South Africa I was introduced to the sport of stand up paddle boarding and fell instantly in love. I have taken a new approach to the way I approach sports but my sport wanderlust is still burning strong
In 2016 I did my first long distance Stand Up paddling in the SUP 11 city tour. This was a 220 km race over 5 days. I felt I was capable of so much more so in 2017 I did the SUP 11 city tour twice, the nonstop and the 5-days, with extreme Dutch weather and this meant I was only the second person to achieve this but also planted a seed for more. Being a Naish team rider made this an approachable goal because of the support and equipment that comes with it. The 220km non-stop and the 5-days tour became a 440KM race in total.
I love every minute of my sports and taking it to the next level and passing on my knowledge and experiences to others, which lead me into a new adventure of starting a business ‘Extremely Insain ‘ was born. At Extremely Insain, based at Vinkeveen ,Netherlands, we train people of all ages in the techniques of SUP while having fun and increasing their fitness level. We train them to the next level with Race training, HIIT training
After the 2017 Sup 11 city tour I was approached by Joanne Hamilton-Vale to join her team to participate in the Yukon 1000. At the bottom of the article was written ‘No one yet has paddled the Yukon River Quest and the Yukon 1000 in the same year’ immediately my new goal was set.
Joanne was not able to join in 2018, but I signed up anyway and was teamed up with Tony Bain for the Yukon 1000. In June I completed the River Quest, 715 km paddling. It took me 69 hours and was obliged to take 8 hours of rest during the race. In the category paddling I came second.
2 weeks after finishing this race the Yukon1000 started, 1.600 km paddling from Whitehorse in Canada till Dalton Bridge in Alaska, 60 miles below the Arctic circle. It was an amazing experience to paddle in nearly 24 hours daylight in such a remote area. The last 1.000 km was passed 3 small settlements, which can only be reached by a small plane. This race had to be done in teams, for safety reasons. It took Tony and me 9 days to complete this race.
What I have planned next is in 2019 the Race2Alaska, from Washington State to Alaska, this race will take place over sea. In 2020 the Yukon Arctic Ultra, a race over land from Whitehorse to Dawson City, in February. The temperature will be the biggest challenge. And my dream is still to climb one of the 8.000 meter peaks.