INTRODUCTION: Every year for the past 30 years Boy Scouts and Explorer Scouts from the United States Panama Canal Zone have competed in a 50 mile (80 Kilometre) race through the Panama Canal.
INTRODUCTION: Every year for the past 30 years Boy Scouts and Explorer Scouts from the United States Panama Canal Zone have competed in a 50 mile (80 Kilometre) race through the Panama Canal. This year, a new record time was set by the winning crew.
SYNOPSIS: A fleet of 21 dugout canoes, known locally as cayucos, completed in the three day event. The race isn't limited to young men, either. The crews start from the Atlantic Ocean and by the start of the last day's racing they've reached the town of Gamboa, about 26 miles (42 Kilometres) from the Pacific Ocean finishing line. Contestants spend weeks preparing their hollowed-out log boats for the annual trip.
The tiny craft are dwarfed as they pass through the Gaillard Cut, the narrowest part of the canal. The cut was the biggest obstacle in the building of the canal, with millions of tons of earth having to be removed.
Whenever the canoes reach one of the locks on the waterway, they have to be lashed together against the turbulence as the water is drained out. The racers are timed throughout their journey, and the winners are decided on total times taken for the trip. The Pedro Miguel locks is one of the last obstacles before the final run-in to the finish line.
Leading throughout most of the race was the canoe "Nic". The canoe, with a crew from Margarita in the Canal Zone, finished the race at Bilboa Harbour 13 minutes clear of the next boat, "Almost". The winning boat had a corrected time of five hours, 35 minutes and 41 seconds, more than three minutes better than the old record. In the prize-giving ceremony, the last boat to finish is awarded a lead anchor.