Sea Front Inn Jaguars dominate 2011 Lagoon Reef Eco-Challenge

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

The highly anticipated seventh annual lagoon reef eco-challenge kayak race went underway early Saturday morning, with over 30 teams signed up to compete. The annual race encourages and promotes awareness, protection and conservation of our fragile mangroves, lagoons, reefs systems. Sea Front Inn Jaguars; a team out of Punta Gorda with paddlers Carlos Ramirez and Godfrey Alford, were very successful, this being their second attempt at the championship. The boys competed in the race last year, 2010 and performed exceptionally, coming in second place, with no sponsorship.

This year the young men had their hearts set on taking home the title and they did. Clocking in a time of nine hours, 25 minutes and 47 seconds, Carlos and Godfrey were overwhelmed and happy as they crossed the finishing line. In speaking with team sponsors, Larry and Karol of Sea Front Inn in Punta Gorda, they told The San Pedro Sun, ‘We have known Godfrey (Ping) for many years, our daughter and son-in-law helped to raise him as his mom was in a bad position and his dad died. The boys did so well in the race last year even though they had no sponsor, no fancy gear or anything but a water bottle (they came in 2nd). They have been training hard for over four months and took this race very seriously. It was a family effort but Larry had his heart in it to help the boys and had great faith that they would win. I think he wanted to help these two young men with winner’s hearts but empty pockets to make their mark”.At the crack of dawn on Saturday, families, friends and supporters of the 32 teams gathered at the shore line behind the Saca Chispas football field to see the teams embark on their 42 miles’ race.

The first leg of the race took paddlers north through a snaky trail of channels and mangrove patches on the west side of the island. At the end of the first day, Sea Front Inn Jaguars were at the lead and the teams camped overnight at Robles Point. On Sunday the race traveled south to San Pedro along the reef side of the island and the sun was high in the sky when the first paddlers made it to the finishing line a little after noon. With hundreds of on lookers eagerly anticipating the return of the paddlers, the Central Park was a buzz for the annual beach party. With plenty of drunks, assortment of food and for the first time ever, the Lion Fish Tournament made part of the party. This year the race also marked the commencement of the Reef Week festivities.There were grand prizes for first, second and third places in both Senior and Junior divisions. In the senior division, the top three winners are as follows:

In the Junior Division, the top three teams are as follows:

There were many fun awards and prizes given out to the competitors in the following categories: dead dog tired, most grumpy, most creative, sportsmanship, most eco-friendly, most enthusiastic, team that got lost, team that got smoked and oldest team.

First, second and third in the Senior Division won the following prizes: $3,000 and one round trip ticket courtesy of Tropic Air; $2,000 and one round trip ticket courtesy of Tropic Air; and $1,000 plus two round trip tickets courtesy of Tropic Air. In the Junior Division, the prizes were as follows: first place received $1,000 and one round trip ticket courtesy of Tropic Air; second prize took $500 plus $200 cash prize from Hibiscus Homework Helper; while third place took $400 and one round trip ticket courtesy of Maya Island Air. The organizers take this opportunity to thank everyone that contributed to make this year’s Eco-Challenge a huge success, and we applaud the organizers for a job well done.

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