Douglas Penland of Belizean Shores placed fourth in last year’s kayak race along with partner Jimmy Polonio, but this year Penland with new partner Fernando Giacoman bounced back to win the 8th Annual Lagoon Reef Eco Challenge that took place over the weekend in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
The race kicked off with 27 double male kayak teams, no female competitors this year around, on Saturday, May 12, 2012. It was a very tight race as two teams battled strongly of first place. At the end of first day of competition Team ‘2 Horse Power Yamaha’ managed to beat Team ‘Southwind Boys’ by only nine seconds; coming in third was Team ‘Coast Guard’ just eight minutes behind second place.
The race proved to be too much for quite a few teams as only 16 continued on Day Two, but the rest of the teams pretty much stayed in the same order as they placed on Day One. Team 2 Horse Power Yamaha of Belizean Shores managed to win the race by a margin of about one minute over Team Southwind Boys, increasing their lead by only a few seconds.
Interestingly enough the first place winners in the Junior Division (Blue Ridder Boys) managed to beat the Day Two time of the winners of the Senior Division by one minute, but their overall time was not enough to win the race.
Hundreds of island residents were at the Central Park waiting for the paddlers to come in and cheered them on. Great music was provided by DJ Habo and there were lots to eat and drink, The annual kayak race also kick-started Reef Week. Congratulations to all the paddlers, sponsors and organizers for another great Eco Challenge.
Here are the results for this year’s Lagoon Reef Eco Challenge:
Eco Challenge Day One 1:
First Place: $3,000 Cash & Gift Certificate Wine de Vine
Second Place: $2,000 Cash & $50 Tab at Stars Café
Third Place: $1,000 Cash & $40 Gift Certificate Liquor Box
First Place: $1,000 Cash & 2 Massages at Sol Spa
Second Place: 700 Cash & Dinner at Las Terraza O Restaurant
Third Place: $400 Cash & 2 Tickets Tropic Air
Overall Standings Prizes:
Fourth Place: Two $150 from Belize Bank
Fifth Place: $200 Cash
Sixth Place: $200 Gift Certificate at Caliente Restaurant
Seventh Place: $200 Gift Certificate at Red Ginger Restaurant
Eight Place: $150 Cash
Ninth Place: Two round trip tickets Tropic Air
Tenth Place: $100 Cash/ Shopping at La Divina Providencia
Eleventh Place: $100 Shopping at SP Hardware
Eco Challenge Day 2