The H-Team wins La Ruta Maya River Challenge

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 9            March 13, 2003

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The H-Team, sponsored by Habet & Habet, Builder's Hardware and Brothers Habet, paddled to victory on Monday to finish the Sixth Annual La Ruta Maya River Challenge, taking possession of the coveted Kinich Ahau (Maya Sun God) trophy. La Ruta Maya River Challenge is the second longest canoe race in the world and the largest spectator event in the country. The race began last Friday, March 7th from beneath the historic Hawkesworth Bridge in San Ignacio, Cayo District and ended on Monday, March 10th in Belize City. Eighty-two teams competed in the sixth annual river race.

    Coming in second place was Pine Lumber, and in third place was Koop Sheet Metal. Interestingly enough, the top three winners of this year's La Ruta Maya Race were the first three canoes (in the same order) to win the Third Annual "Boom to the City" race held two weeks ago. According to Julian Sherrard of Black Rock Resort, the "Boom to the City" canoe race gives race coordinators an idea of who the main contenders of the La Ruta Maya Race will be. Participants in La Ruta Maya, competed from dawn to dusk, stopping to camp overnight on river banks during the three and a half day, 170-plus mile race down the Old Belize River ending at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City.

     The San Pedro Sun congratulates the winners, participants, organizers and sponsors of this magnum event. Special mention is given to Miki Kim of the San Pedro AIDS Commission and Jill Hepp, a former Peace Corps volunteer for Green Reef San Pedro, for engaging in such a competitive sport and for finishing the race.
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