On your mark, get set, paddle!
Paddle for fun, paddle for a purpose, paddle for health or paddle for a challenge. All kayak paddlers are asked to get ready for the 7th Annual Lagoon Reef Eco-Challenge that has been set for May 14 & 15, 2011.
The Ambergris Caye Lagoon-Reef Eco Challenge is now in its seventh year and getting bigger and better each year. The Eco-Challenge is a 42 miles, two-day kayak race starting on the lagoon side of Ambergris Caye, through the many lagoons in the North Ambergris Caye Area, up to Bacalar Chico, then down to Robles Point, where all teams camp and the race then resumes the following day and finishes at the Central Park, in San Pedro Town.
The kayak race is set to start on Saturday, May 14, and will culminate on Sunday, May 15. The race is set to finish at the Central Park where there will be a Beach Party. This is an amateur race and no professional kayakers will be allowed to enter the race. Professionals are classified as those persons who take place in the La Ruta Maya River Challenge under the professional category. Please note also that teams with one professional and an amateur will not be accepted, and that all participants’ names will be double checked to ensure each person’s eligibility for the race.
A note of importance to all participants is that Only Malibu, sit-on-top kayaks along with the SeaSense paddles will be allowed. In reference to the paddles these are the ones that are sold along with the Malibu kayaks and are most commonly used by the hotels; this is to ensure a leveled playing field.
Registration fee is $200 Bze and must be submitted along with application form; the deadline for registration is Thursday, May 12. All teams must be present at the Eco- Challenge competitors meeting on Friday, May 13, 2011.
There will be three grand prizes (1st, 2nd, 3rd place) at the end of the race for the overall race and individual station prizes for each team. Competitors must complete the first portion of the race arriving at Basil Jones no later than 3:30 p.m. in order to qualify to win the overall race. The race is based on overall time for both days; there will be an official time keeper to record each person time each day. The winners will be chosen based on the cumulative time for both days.
Those interested in participating can pick up their registration form at the office of Hol Chan Marine Reserve or at Seaduced by Belize. Organizers stress that the purpose behind the Eco-Challenge is to promote awareness, protection, and conservation of the mangroves, lagoons, reef, and diverse species living in these beautiful natural habitats.
The race route takes competitors on a thrilling 2-days of fun starting from the San Pedro Lagoon through more than 12 lagoons in the North Ambergris Caye area, including Laguna de Mata, Laguna de Cayo Frances, Laguna de Cantena, Los Arenales, and Laguna de Mexico. Other beautiful points that are traversed during the race are the San Juan Area, Boca Bacalar Chico, Robles Point, Basil Jones, Punta Azul, and Mexico Rocks.
Anyone interested in giving a donations whether it be in cash or gift certificate can kindly contact the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Office at 226-2247 or The Seaduced by Belize Office at 226-2554 or 610-1690.