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Watertribe Everglades Challenge, 2005
by Bill Turnbull

Saturday March 4, 2005 was the start of the Everglades Challenge human powered and wind powered boat race from Ft. Desoto, Florida to Key Largo, Florida, a distance of approximately 300 miles. The race has four classes of boat, from kayak and canoes with no rigs, downwind rigs, stow-able upwind rigs and small sailboats. The racers are encouraged to help each other during the race but can accept no help from others. There are four stages of the race and you are required to stop and sign in at each checkpoint. For complete rules and information, please see the WaterTribe web site:

http://www.watertribe.com

The start of the race itself was very laid-back with a ‘group-hug’ about 15 minutes prior to the start, a verbal 5-minute warning then apparently a ‘go’ that I didn’t even hear. Some racers ran wildly towards the water to get going while others were a lot more relaxed. The person patiently cleaning sand off of his equipment was heard to say: “what’s 15 minutes over 8 days?” The last off of the beach was a Sea Pearl; he had to kedge his boat off of the beach with the help of some PVC rollers and a bow mounted winch.

There was an interesting assortment of boats there, mostly were production fiberglass kayaks but a few were homebuilt.

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The line-up at the start.

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This is a Core Sound 17 which was sailed by the designer/builder.
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Two Kruger canoes joined as an ad-hoc team.
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Sunfish with rowing outriggers. Seemed a better idea than paddling to me.

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Production Raptor Outrigger Canoe with a foil stabilizer.

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Kruger canoe with hiking boards, and outriggers. This boat won the 2004 Everglades Challenge.

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SeaPearl being kedged off of the beach. click to enlarge

 

 

Norseboat ready for the race.
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Outrigger canoe, built by 8th graders some years ago.

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