Evelio Flores, Amado Cruz and Daniel Cruz paddled their Belize Bank canoe to a first place finish in the Smart-Speednet Belize River Challenge canoe race on Saturday April 30. They paddled the 15 miles from the start at the Iguana Creek Bridge to the finish line under the Roaring Creek bridge by the national Agricultural Trade Show grounds in two hours 19 minutes and 26 seconds to claim the first prize and trophy.

Their arch-rival, Jerry Rhaburn of this year’s Ruta Maya winner Zip Rider team had teamed up with the Sanchez twins, Justin and Jermaine, and paddled into second place in two hours 20 minutes and seven seconds.

The N.I.C.H. canoe paddled by the Oscar Cordon, Jimmy Valdez and Armin Lopez finished third overall in two hours 27 minutes and 25 seconds.

Hener Cruz, Efrain Cruz and Jerry Cante of the Westrac team paddled into fourth place overall in two hours 30 minutes and 41 seconds, to win first prize in the pleasure category.

Alfred Lopez, Byron Cruz and Sergio Lopez of the St Ignatius High School team finished fifth overall in two hours 31 minutes and 42 seconds, to claim first prize in the Intramural category.

Ruta Maya masters’ champ Johnny “Watt” Searle teamed up with Chris Guydis of the 2009 Ruta Maya champs CPBL Caribbean Pride and Paul Hyde to paddle Searle’s “Watt-a-ting” canoe to a sixth place finish overall and fourth among the men’s teams in two hours 33 minutes and 24 seconds.

Erwin Cruz, Rudolph Gentle and Javier Guardado paddled the Print Belize Canoe to finish seventh overall and second in the pleasure category in two hours 36 minutes and 16 seconds.

Denmark Casey, Hector Toruffu and Aroldo Lopez paddled the B.N.E./Pacz canoe to a finish eight overall, fifth among the men’s teams in two hours 48 minutes and 17 seconds.

The Ranza Gals: Ana and Francisca Cruz and Delilah Cabb won the women’s category when they paddled across the finish line in two hours 48 minutes and 30 seconds, placing ninth overall.

Grumpy Ol Men: Dan Wakelin, Joe Fuzy and Jerry Wilkens won the masters category in three hours and 54 seconds, finishing 10th overall.

Audrey Moody, and the Usher sisters, Jane and Bobby Dee, paddled the Police peacemakers” canoe to win second prize in the women’s category and place 11th overall in three hours 17 minutes and 57 seconds.

Elvina Bedran, Ricardo Barrera and Jamani Balderamos of the JBD Drug-dealers team paddled to a 12th place finish in three hours 20 minutes and one second to win third prize in the pleasure category, while the “Dead Skin” team finished 13th overall.

The Reporter