Tour du Teche registration opens
Registration for Tour du Teche IV, a three-day race for kayaks and canoes down Louisiana’s lush Bayou Teche, is open until 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 13.
The 135-mile race is Oct. 4-6 with pre-race events at Port Barre, La., on Thursday, Oct. 3.
This is a staged ultramarathon that has had the paddling world buzzing since its beginning in 2010. “C’es pas juste une course!” is its motto – Cajun French for “It’s not just a race!” It has been called one big party interrupted by races.
“We spent two years in the U.S. and went to many kayak races,” said last year’s top winner, Englishman Mark Addison. “Your race was far and away the best experience of them all, and the only one I truly want to do again.”
Addison, in a solo kayak, paddled the 135-mile course in just under 19 hours and took home $1,800.
Racing Division pays a percentage of the purse to each paddler in a boat finishing first, second and third in their class. There’s also a cash bonus for breaking records. The Voyageur Division is for everyday paddlers racing for trophies and adventure.
Tour du Teche starts at Port Barre on Friday with a finish 49 miles later in St. Martinville near
the oak made famous in Longfellow’s epic “Evangeline.” There will be Zydeco music playing and Creole food cooking. Saturday’s 59-mile race starts in St. Martinville and ends in Franklin, an old steamboat port with stately plantation homes and a lively waterfront. The toughest part of the race is only 27 miles but by Sunday strength and resolve are sapped and the bayou is wide and windswept here, subject to contrary tides from the nearby Gulf of Mexico. The race ends on the Atchafalaya River at Berwick, a once sleepy fishing village energized by the oil and gas industry. The music here might have a strong Texas or Oklahoma influence.
Tour du Teche not only attracts world-class racers like Mark Addison but also weekend paddlers, families, coworkers, even first-timers. There are several one-day side races to make it easy for the novice and the time-strapped to participate.
The side races are all for Voyageurs racing for trophies.
Entry fees per paddler are $125 for Racers and $80 for Voyageurs, $60 for one-day races.
Tour du Teche is a non-profit dedicated to promoting the low-impact recreational use, protection and appreciation of Bayou Teche.
For more information go to www.tourduteche.com or call Executive Director Nicole Patin at 337-789-0319.
Tour du Teche, Inc. is supported by Teche Federal Bank, Chevron and Teche News.