BY William Ysaguirre
The N.I.C.H. team of Oscar Cordon, Felix and Efrain Cruz won the first canoe race of the New Year, organized by the Belize Canoe Association in preparation for the annual Ruta Maya, in a 1:14;14 paddle from the Black Orchid Resort in Burrell Boom to the Manatee Lodge on Saturday, January 11.
The N.I.C.H. paddlers won the $150 first prized and a trophy, edging out their arch rivals, the Belize Bank, who missed the finish line buoy and had to backtrack, allowing the Belize Telemedia team “Cobb’s Arm” Roy and Eric Cano and Andres Cobb to take the $75 second prize in 1:14:23.
The Belize Bank team, six-time Ruta Maya champions, Armin Lopez, Amado and Daniel Cruz, had to be content with the $50 third prize, finishing in 1:15:08. The D & A Construction team of Leon and Raymond Gillett and Jeremy Sanchez also missed the buoy and were out of the money as they finished fourth overall in 1:15:10.
The Westrac team of Henner and Erwin Cruz and Jerry Cante clocked 1:15:15 as they took fifth place overall; while the “What Eva Boys” from St. Ignatius High School finished sixth overall in 1:15:50 to win the $150 first prize and a trophy in the Intramural division.
The Joseph &Taylor team of Francis Codd, Jerry Rhaburn and Chris Guydis were seventh in 1:15:54; while the Black Orchid Team of Jayda Guydis, Jermain Sanchez and Wilbert Daniels were eighth overall in 1:17:54 but won the $150 first prize and a trophy in the Mixed division.
The “River Kings”, Jeffery Seguro, Matthew Mask and Ashton Moody of Belize Rural High School, were ninth in 1:19:50, but won the $150 first prize in the Juniors division.
Sea Sports’ perennial paddlers: Johnny “Watt” Searle and Robert Bailey in their “Watt a Ting” canoe were 10th in 1:21:07, but had recruited a younger paddler, Tyreek Thompson, and were no longer in the Masters division.
The Print Belize team of Francisco Perez, Rudoph Gentle and Ernest Santos were 11th in 1:22:53, to win the $150 first prize and trophy in the Pleasure division.
The “Grumpy Ol’ Men”: Victor Seguro, Stanley Bailey and Jerry Wilkens were 12th overall in 1:23:06; good enough to win a $150 prize and trophy in the Masters division
The Turdz: Martin Gideon and Glenford Sutherland clocked 1:26:47 as they finished 13th to win a $75 second prize in the Juniors division.
The “Party Tun Up” team, the Usher sisters, Jane and Bobby Dee, and Ruta Maya female champion Ana Cruz Lamp finished 14th in 1:35:30 to win the $150 first prize and trophy in the Female division.
The “Crazy Canucks”: Joan Barrett, Katie and Jim Stewart were vacationing from Canada and decided to try the race; they pulled in 15th in 1:36:35 to win the $75 second prize in the Masters’ division.