A canoe racer from Minneapolis can't get enough of the Mississippi River.

After his attempt was swamped in 2021, Scott Miller and a crew of three others will make another run at becoming the fastest to paddle the length of the historic waterway, covering 2,300-plus miles from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.

Miller is hoping to launch Sunday from the headwaters in Itasca State Park but anticipating a later start. Like the river, conditions will dictate the action. Currently the team is waiting for ice-out on three northern lakes connected by the Mississippi: lakes Bemidji, Cass and Winnibigoshish.

And for all the flooding fears, Miller expects to begin and "ride the back of the crest." Water will be high and fast but dropping, according to his data-reading. Another positive: Lowering water levels should mean all 26 river lock and dams between St. Paul and St. Louis will be open. No time-consuming portaging, and a possible win for handlers of the team's support boat.

If Miller and Co. are to set a record, they'll have to speed past the mark coincidentally set a short time before he and his crew capsized in 2021. They were about 140 miles from a finish at the Gulf of Mexico when tropical storm-fueled conditions swept through Louisiana. A support boat plucked them from the river just as their canoe went under.

KJ Millhone of Minnetonka, along with his daughter, Casey, and two other paddlers are the record-holders who launched their own attempt days ahead of Miller's in 2021. They finished May 10 in 17 days, 19 hours and 46 minutes. The previous mark was set in 2003 in 18 days, 4 hours and 51 minutes. As it happens in the small ecosystem of ultra canoe racing, KJ Millhone and Miller once were a team.

Miller was confident Monday that the team was positioned for success.

"We learned so much last time," he said.

While Miller is appreciative of his 2021 squad ("We're standing on their shoulders"), he is looking forward to this attempt with a new crew.

"This team just has a more robust ultra racing experience," he said of Paul Cox of Atlanta; Wally Werderich of Chicago; Judson Steinback of La Crosse, Wis.; and Joe Mann of the Kansas City, Mo., area, who is an alternate. All have long résumés of success in long-distance paddling.

A different 23-foot, customized canoe will propel them — Miller's earlier vessel was lost to the river in 2021. Scott Duffus, a support crew member, has modified a spray skirt for the entire Kevlar canoe with venting holes and pockets, for example, and has wired the craft with electronics that will help with everything from barge safety lights to running a newly installed auto-bilge pump. Even the rudder pedal mechanics are improved. "Our whole rig is much safer and easier to use in a bunch of ways," Miller said.

For all the prep work, the adventure-seeker knows one element has a critical role in the outcome.

"This record attempt has a large level of luck," Miller said.

Perhaps his will improve this time.