BTL Cobb’s arm takes the 2015 La Ruta Maya River Challenge
Thursday, March 12th, 2015
The winner of the 2015 annual La Ruta Maya River Challenge is BTL Cobb’s Arm. Consisting of Roy Cano, Eric Cano and Clayton Cabb of Santa Familia Village, Cayo district, the team of three was the first to pass the finish line on Monday March 9th, the last day of the four-day challenge. From the 57 teams that participated, BTL Cobb’s arm clocked in at 17:35:27 in the 180 mile race that started from the Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio, Cayo and ended at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City.
The first leg of the race took the paddlers 46 miles down the Mopan River then into the Belize River ending at Banana Bank. The Cobb’s Arm team picked up six of the seven station prizes on the first leg of the race. Those station prizes were nabbed at Branch Mouth, Banking Pot Ferry, Iguana Creek Bridge, Dream Valley Resort, Young Bank Ferry and at Guanacaste Park. Despite winning those prizes, Cobb’s Arm finished in second place at Banana Bank clocking at 4:48:20, only four seconds behind the National Institute for Culture and History (NICH) team who clocked in at 40:48:16. The NICH team was represented by Efrain Cruz, Felix Cruz and Alexander Cruz. Finishing third in the first day was OCB Wavemakers, comprising of Chris Guydis, Jerry Rhaburn and Wilberto Daniels and sponsored by Oceana in Belize, Creative Marketing and Black Orchid Resort.
The second day of the race saw the 57 teams paddle from Banana Bank to Double Head Cabbage Village, the longest leg of the race, for a total of 60 miles. BTL Cobb’s Arm won that leg of the race, clocking in at 5:31:41. With that win, they were still behind NICH by two seconds of at the accumulative time. Cobb’s Arm also picked up four station prizes along the way.
On the third day of the race from Double Head Cabbage to Henderson’s Bank in Burrell Boom Village, a distance of 36 miles, it was the OCB Wavemakers that claimed the fame. To a rousing applause and much cheering, the Wavemakers clocked in at 4:26:52. Neck to neck and just two seconds behind the Wavemakers were Cobb’s Arm and NICH, who tied with a time of 4:56:54. Despite Wavemakers’ spectacular sprint to the finish line on Day 3, their cumulative time was a full three minutes behind the two leading canoes: NICH and Cobb’s Arm. NICH still enjoyed a two second lead in accumulative time over Cobb’s Arm.
On the last leg of the race, thousands of Belizeans lined up along the banks of the Belize River for the historic annual event. In the 25 miles race the Cobb’s Arm team took an early lead from Burrell Boom leaving their main competition far behind throughout the race. They paddled to the finish line at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City alone and clocking in at 2:38:32. That was a full three and half minutes ahead of the NICH team, and 45 seconds ahead of the Wavemakers which made the Cobb’s Arm the official winners. NICH, by accumulative time took second prize overall with a clocking time of 17:38:44, while the Wavemakers took the third prize at 17:39:41.
Meanwhile, the eight-time champions, Belize Bank Bulldogs comprising of Armin Lopez, Daniel Cruz and Amado Cruz finished fourth with an accumulative time of 18:00:41. Of importance to note is that the Belize Bank Bulldogs were the true heroes of this year’s tournament after they stopped to save a person who was drowning on the first leg of the race. That consumed a great deal of their time but for Lopez and the Cruz brothers, saving a life was more important than winning the race.
Western Home Supplies, consisting of Alfred Lopez, Byron Cruz and Armando Lopez, finished in first place in the Intramural Division, with an accumulative time of 18:23:02. “Wat Eva Boys” consisting of Sergio Lopez, Adrian Williams and Linarez took second place in that division, with a time of 19:03:07. The Turdz finished third with a time of 19:27:07.
Michael Searle, Andres Cabb and Alex Lisbey of Sea Sports Belize on board “Watt A Ting” placed 12th overall and first in the Masters’ category with a clocking time of 19:52:03. Their long time rivals, the Grumpy Old Men consisting of Jerry Wilken, Stanley Bailey and Joe Segura finished in second place with a clocking time of 20:39:51.
In the Pleasure Division, The Print Belize/Wrobel team consisting of Leroy Romero, Rudolph Gentle and Jason finished first in a clocking time of 19:34:13. The Belize Defense Force team of “Weh Dem DeH,” finished second in an overall time of 19:41:28. The Police Crime Fighters, with Tyrell Talbert, Carlos Linares and Armin Lopez Jr., took third place with an overall time of 20:42:05.
In the female category, Koop Sheet Metal, consisting of Maricella Guardado, Francisca Pfaender and Sarah Lassard, won first with a finishing time of 19:28:58. The Belize Bank girls, consisting of Ana Lopez, Lily Cruz and Delilah Cabb, took second place while The Belize Coast Guardians rounded in third in that division.
In the Mixed Category, The BDF “Wave Runners” won first place, The “Green & Blue Canoe Oars” took second place while the “U Can” rounded the top three teams in that category. The “Slim and Trim like a Guava Limb” team won first prize in the family category, meanwhile the “Gentle Bubble & Grind” team settled for second place.
Following the end of the race, the BTL Cobb’s Arm team was presented with the Kinich Ahau trophy by the organizers. All top teams in the various categories were also given their prizes and all participants received a wooden carved medal. Congratulations to the all the participants of this year’s La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge.
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