Volunteers sought for Tour du Teche set for Oct. 5-6
The paddle race from St. Martinville to Franklin will be Oct. 5 with the first contestants paddling into Franklin that evening and throughout the night at Parc Sur La Teche on Teche Drive. The paddlers will depart Oct. 6 at 7 a.m. for the final leg of the race to the Atchafalaya River in Berwick.
Volunteers are needed to assist the paddlers with their vessels and to record the paddlers’ times when they reach the finish line in Franklin. The last day to sign up to become a volunteer is Thursday, Sept. 19 at 4 p.m. The shifts are two hours each and begin at 4 p.m. Paddlers begin to arrive around 5 p.m. Saturday night. All paddlers have to reach Franklin by midnight. If you or your organization would like to volunteer, contact Arlana Shields, Community Development Director at 337-828-6345.
Tour du Teche 135 is an annual race for canoes, kayaks, pirogues (the traditional Cajun canoe) and SUP’s along the entire length of Bayou Teche in southwestern Louisiana, a total of 135 miles including small sections of Bayou Courtableau and the Atchafalaya River. It’s a three-day staged race beginning the first Friday in October.
There are two classes of Tour du Teche 135: Pro Race, in which some of the fastest boats and paddlers from around the world vie for cash prizes; and Voyageur Race, or recreational, where the participants challenge themselves as well as each other for trophies, bragging rights and adventure. Voyageurs may opt for shorter races held in conjunction with Tour du Teche 135.
Tour du Teche 135 began in 2010 with the dual purpose of introducing the beautiful Teche Country to paddlers and other eco-tourists from beyond and to illustrate for its residents the recreational, aesthetic, cultural and economic value of Bayou Teche. Since the race’s inception, these two groups, visitors and local folk, have met and mingled in happy expositions of music and cuisine that give Tour du Teche 135 its reputation as moveable party as well as a tough series of paddle marathons.