Jambel Rebels win 2nd Annual Ambergris Caye Eco-Challenge!

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 16, No. 19            May 11, 2006

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At the finish line, Leroy Romero and Elmer Cruz of team Jambel Rebels dominated the event placing first in the competition with a collective time of 10:41:55.

There were two Ramon's teams this year, and both captured second and third place finishes. Congratulations!

After the grueling race, under the hot sun, young Jody Leslie welcomed the refreshing water that his friend Noel poured over him after the race!

After two days of kayaking around the island, we can only guess that Juan Carlos (J.C.) Monte was extremely happy and relieved to pull in to shore. Kudos to J.C. for completing the race and pulling in 2nd in the singles male category!

The Ambergris Caye Lagoon Reef Eco-Challenge is quickly becoming one of the predominant kayak races in Belize, as over forty kayaks and dorys filled with single and double teams made the 42 mile two-day trek.

   An exhausted, but ecstatic Jambel Rebels kayak team paddled their way to victory at the Mar de Tumbo grand prize station last Sunday, winning the Lagoon Reef Eco-Challenge held over the weekend. The race route took competitors on a thrilling 2-day journey starting from the San Pedro Lagoon through more than twelve lagoons in the North Ambergris Caye area, including Laguna de Mata, Laguna de Cayo Frances, Laguna de Cantena, Los Arenales, and Laguna de Mexico. Other beautiful points that were crossed during the race were the San Juan area, Boca Bacalar Chico, Robles Point, Basil Jones, Punta Azul, and Mexico Rocks.

   A total of 42 kayak teams were side-by-side at the starting line, but as is the case, the leaders eventually pulled away from the rest. At the end of the first day, (a total of 29 miles), the Jambel Rebels had the best time with 7:16:55. And not far from each other were the Ramon Village teams, Ramon’s Hamari and Ramon’s Sponges, pulling in second and third places with a time of 7:20:45 and 7:22:07 respectively. On the second day, a journey of 13 miles, teams had plenty of time to recuperate and rest their weary muscles at Robles, where they camped, had dinner and slept on the beach under the stars. Although still sore from the long trek on Saturday, all the teams were very eager to take on the second part of the race and reach the finish line at Mar de Tumbo.

   At the finish line, Leroy Romero and Elmer Cruz of team Jambel Rebels dominated the event placing first in the competition with a collective time of 10:41:55. Second place was won by Ramon’s Hamari, Martin Carr and Loui, with a time of 10:49:51; third was Luis Rivero and Andy Carr of team Ramon’s Sponges with a combined time of 10:52:12 in the men’s doubles division. Over in the female singles, pulling away with first place was Allie I’field of team “She no easy,” with a logged time of 11:13:51; a close second was won by Bianca Bulmer-Thomas of team Bianca with a total time of 11:54:45. In the female doubles, Marcel Cruz and Anna Lopez of team “Tides Gals” took first place with a time of 11:46:48 and Hope Austin and Suyapa Sosa of team “Wait fi Wee” pulled in second, with a total logged time of 14:46:08. In the male singles division, Imer of team “Anwar Tours” took the top spot with a logged time of 11:17:01 and a distant second went to Juan Carlos Monte of team “The Chosen One,” with a time of 13:24:48. Last but certainly not the least, the dory division was won by the Bull Shark team with a total time of 13:02:43. The winners and participants all walked away with fantastic prizes at the end of the day. Kudos to the Jambel Rebels for winning the overall event.

   The weekend events then culminated at the 10th Annual Reef Festival at the Mar de Tumbo. “The purpose behind the Eco Challenge was to promote awareness, protection, and conservation of the mangroves, lagoons, reef, and diverse species living in these beautiful natural habitats,” said Elito Arceo, Race Chairman, Seaduced by Belize. The race provided a fun way to help promote the conservation of the island’s natural beauty.

    Huge thanks go out to the amazingly supportive community and sponsors. Thanks to them, everyone was a winner at the end of the race. For those ahead of the game, thanks to all the sponsors and everybody that contributed to the race’s success.

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