Tour du Teche, a 130-mile race for canoes and kayaks through the Cajun, Creole and Indian country of southern Louisiana, is on for Sept. 17-19, 2010.
It’s a non-stop race from Port Barre to Berwick, down the entire length of Bayou Teche through hardwood bottoms and past lush sugarcane fields and antebellum planation homes.
There will be a cash prize for the first team to finish. A special Cajun pirogue is being raffled off to raise money for the prize, which figures to be at least a couple of thousand dollars.
All racers who finish within the allotted 60 hours will receive a voyageur’s toque, a jaunty Bemidji wool stocking cap with the Tour du Teche leather medallion that will henceforth brand the wearer as a boatman/women with uncommon skill and determination. All participants receive the official race T-shirt.
The race will be USCA sanctioned and include first-place recognition in the following classes:
C-1 (sub categories: overall, women, juniors and seniors)
C-2 (sub categories: overall, women, juniors, seniors and mixed)
K-1 (sub categories: overall, women, juniors and seniors)
K-2 (sub categories: overall, women, juniors, seniors and mixed)
Aluminum (sub categories: overall, women, juniors, seniors and mixed)
Aluminum solo (sub categories: overall, women, juniors and seniors)
Standard (sub categories: overall, women, juniors, seniors and mixed)
Standard solo (sub categories: overall, women, juniors and seniors)
Entry fee is $75 per paddler. Each team is encourage to provide a “coureur de bois,” or bank runner, primarily responsible for preceding the team downstream and seeing to the paddlers’ needs, including transportation. For teams that cannot provide their own coureur, every effort will be made to match them up with a local volunteer who can assume the role. There is no fee for the coureur.
Food and drink will be available at official checkpoints at no cost for the racers and their coureurs. There will be a social event and racers’ meeting in the evening Thursday, Sept. 16.
More details, including rules and a entry form, are found at www.techeproject.com
Tour du Teche is a program under The TECHE Project, a civic organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the historic waterway that opened wild Louisiana to the French, Acadians and others.
The Chitimacha gave the bayou its name, from a word for snake, with a legend that the waterway was formed by the decaying carcass of a huge serpent slain by the tribe’s warriors.
For more information, contact Ken Grissom, email@example.com
, (337) 394-6232