West Hansen, shown here paddling south of Victoria in 2018, has postponed his attempt to paddle the Northwest Passage. Pam LeBlanc photo

The Arctic Cowboys have postponed their expedition to kayak the Northwest Passage until next summer.

Team leader West Hansen, who in 2012 led a National Geographic-sponsored team that paddled the entire Amazon River and in 2014 led the first descent of the Volga River in Russia, says the team needs more funding before attempting to become the first to paddle the remote 1,900-mile route.

“While the team was in prime shape, after training for and completing the 260-mile Texas Water Safari, the funding was insufficient to launch the expedition and we did not want to begin without adequate resources to assure a successful crossing,” Hansen wrote in a press release. “The distance and conditions are formidable enough without concerns regarding transportation to and from the Arctic and reasonable supplies.”

Hansen, a 57-year-old social worker from Austin, along with paddlers Jeff Wueste, 58, and Jimmy Harvey, 56, will face challenges in the form of polar bears, crushing sea ice and frigid temperatures during their Arctic trip.

During the next 11 months, they’ll look for financial sponsors. They’ll also make training runs along the 385-mile Texas coastline this winter, testing their Epic sea kayaks in heavy wind and waves.

Hansen paddling in a slough near Victoria in 2018. Pam LeBlanc photo

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