Saturday, April 20, 2024

San Pedro’s Daniel Gregorio and his team BCG Net Zero wins 2023 BTB Love Belize Sea Challenge


With a total time of 37:25:26, team Belize Coast Guard (BCG) Net Zero, sponsored by Recinos Wine House and composed of James Alford and San Pedrano Daniel Gregorio, emerged as the top team in the Love Belize Sea Challenge kayak race. The race started in Punta Gorda Town, in the southern Toledo District, on August 22nd and ended in Corozal Town, northern Belize, on Sunday, August 27th.  The challenge, which was postponed a few times, saw six teams taking 218 grueling miles in the six-day race. Organized by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and Love FM, the event saw teams competing in the male, female, and mixed categories, kayaking along the Belizean Caribbean coast.
The other winning teams included Hamanasi Thunder Brothers (40:21:58), manned by Jonathan and Mark Alford. The third team was in the female category, BCG Born Strong (42:09:32), composed of Diana and Dana Alford.
The first day, Tuesday, August 22nd, of the competition was from Punta Gorda Town to Placencia Village. BCG Net Zero took the lead from the first day, clocking a time of 07:32:50. Followed by Hamanasi Thunder Brothers at 07:51:05, and BCG Born Strong, clocking a total time of 08:16:15.
The following day, the teams left Placencia, heading to Dangriga Town. Team BCG Net Zero finished first, marking a total time of 06:29:38. Team Hamanasi Thunder Brothers finished second at 06:53:54, and the female team with a total time of 07:11:04.
On the third day from Dangriga to Belize City, BCG Net Zero kept the lead again, making it to the Old Capital ahead of the other teams with a time of 07:20:05. Team Hamanasi Thunder Brothers finished in second, 08:33:29, and BCG Born Strong, 08:58:54.

The race continued Friday, August 25th, from Belize City to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The top three teams leading in the race BCG Net Zero, Hamanasi Thunder Brothers and BCG Born Strong, were the first to arrive at the Boca del Rio Beach Park in San Pedro. BCG Net Zero arrived first, clocking 06:07:42. The other teams, Hamanasi Thunder Brothers, finished this leg of the race in 06:26:45, and BCG Born Strong in 06:48:02. In San Pedro, BCG Net Zero’s Daniel Gregorio and his teammate were welcomed and commended for their lead in this sea challenge.
On Saturday, kayakers left for Chunox, Corozal, in the Corozal District. BCG Net Zero took this fifth leg of the race with a total time of 08:44:17, followed by Hamanasi Thunder Brothers with 09:18:57 and BCG Born Strong with 09:34:49.
The final sprint to Corozal Town on Sunday, August 27th, was nailed by BCG Net Zero once again, clocking 01:10:58. Hamanasi Thunder Brothers finished with a total time of 01:17:53 and the female team of BCG Born Strong did it in 01:20:28. As the teams arrived, a large crowd greeted them. Of the six teams, only four finished the race. Besides the top three teams, finishing in fourth place was Team BCG Weather or Not, manned by Shefan Hemmans and Ryan Gabourel. The other two teams included Turtle Express and Vincent Guydis Canoes.
At the end of the race, winners were awarded prizes in their respective categories. Gregorio and Alford proudly raised the top trophies as they took to the stage to be recognized as the competition’s top team this year.
Congratulations to all of this year’s BTB Love Belize Sea Challenge participants. A BIG thank you also goes out to all the organizers and sponsors for making the event possible again. The sporting event also aims to bring awareness about the need to protect and preserve Belize’s marine natural resources.
The BTB Love Belize Sea Challenge will be back in 2024.

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