From staff reports
Special to The Gazette-Enterprise
SEGUIN — Seventy of the 105 entries for this year’s Texas Water Safari, named the toughest boat race in the world by Forbes Magazine, made it all the way from San Marcos Springs to the coastal community of Seadrift in the 42nd annual race.
“We had good weather and a safe race,” said Randy Worden, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) Executive Manager of Business Development and Resource Management.
“With 70 entries finishing, we estimate that about 500 support personnel followed their boats along the race course, eating, buying gas and supplies and spending the night along the way. At the finish line in Seadrift, the awards banquet hosted about 200 racers and their team captains. GBRA is proud to be a sponsor of this unique event that helps introduce more people to the Guadalupe River Basin.”
Team Belize, a seven-man canoe, was the first to reach Seadrift, with a time of 36 hours and 56 minutes. Team captain Jerry Brown and the crew, Tim Anglin, Daniel Cruz, West Hansen, Armin Lopez, Jerry Rhaborn, Leroy Romero and Richard Steppe, made the first checkpoint at Staples in 2:12 hours.
Their times from there were Luling at Hwy. 90 in 5:10 hours, Zedler Dam in 6:02 hours, Palmetto in 8:09 hours, Gonzales in 11:51 hours, Hochheim in 16:21, Cuero at Hwy. 766 in 19:35, Cuero at Hwy. 236 in 21:30, Victoria in 26:32, Dupont in 31 hours, Tivoli in 33:30 hours and Seadrift in 36:56 hours.
Although last year’s winning team, the Mynars, did not compete, the second-place team in boat number 641 included Team Captain Joe Mynar and was within a few minutes of the leader in second place through Gonzales. At the Hochheim checkpoint, they fell back slightly to third place as boat number 167 pushed into second place and remained there through the Hwy. 766 checkpoint in Cuero.
Throughout the rest of the race, all three boats exchanged positions, but the 71 boat maintained its lead in all but two of the splits between checkpoints. The second-place boat, 641, fell back to third twice between checkpoints and finished in 38:06 hours.
The third-place team in boat 167 with Team Captain Kristin Daniel reached the first checkpoint nine minutes behind the leader in third place.
After falling back in the trip between Staples and Luling, boat 167 moved to second three times between the Palmetto and Seadrift checkpoints, finishing the race in 40:06 hours.
Texas Water Safari participants must deal with snakes, alligators, log jams, dams, blazing heat and the dead of night.
This year, 105 teams, including teams from as far away as Belize and Canada, competed for the glory of paddling by human muscle power alone from the central Texas Hill Country to the Gulf coast within 100 hours.
The race winds along the San Marcos and Guadalupe Rivers for 260 miles from San Marcos to Seadrift and can take as long as four days to complete.
GBRA sponsors the event to help promote the communities along the race course and build awareness of the value of the rivers to the Guadalupe River watershed.
For complete results, contact Rose Marie Eash at 210-227-0221, ext. 254, or e-mail reash(at)dublinandassociates.com .