Excellent day for  the 14th annual Regatta. The drive out to Gamboa in the morning was cool, lots of yellow and purple in them there hills mixed in with the green and not so green trees in the background. Down at the Canal's edge at the old Gamboa airstrip, everyone was ready to go. Between Sun Block, butterflies, adrenaline, and the water, the competitors were trigger-happy out in the sun. All us old folks and want-ta-be's headed for the shade along the water's edge. A couple of minor technical delays and it was Bang, Stroke, and Go, and the fun started. There was a great turnout. I'd say about 250 people in all and a good mix of Panamanians and Americans.

In the first heat, all male category, Rio Senales, Rapid Transit, Utmost, and Bruised Reed were lined up. Bang! and they're off. Bruised Reed swamps, Rio Senales looses a paddle, brings out the replacement and goes, Rapid Transit and Utmost, go, go, go, stroke, stroke, stroke, dig, dig, dig, and it was Rapid Transit at the line with 2:13.49. And the crowd roars. 

In the second heat, there was Almost, Carioca, Sudden Impact and the Dear Dick. Carioca at the finish with 2:08.99. 

Third heat was NIC, Lone Star, and Sweet Poison with the NIC at 2:17.19. 

In the Coed category there was one good race that stood out. Del Fin, Front Runner, and Gone P'Lante. I'm up at the Abou Saad food stand getting a burger when I hear all this yelling and screaming. Come to find out it was the Del Fin with 2:29.91 and the Front Runner with 2:30.84. That was a close race. 

They were all good races, win or lose. Everybody learned something about themselves and their competition. One good example was the National Police. Besides the fact that they controlled the traffic at the Gamboa Bridge to make it more fluid, they also provided security at the event and were right there with everybody getting involved with the event. They also had a team in the race. In their first attempt, not so good. But in their second attempt, the Expeso Comando came out first. I guess it was like that throughout most of the day as no team was consistent. Hard to tell who was a strong boat. When it got down to the final heats, everybody picked a boat to cheer and would even follow it down to the finish line yelling and screaming. 

Hats off to Pablo Prieto for coordinating the event and pulling it all together. John Bates for setting up the lanes and helping out at the event. Mark Ostrander for running the Regatta itself with his volunteers. Pablo, his wife Marisa, and Sue Stabler for organizing the Balboa Paddle Club, and also for converting the rules and regulations from the old system to the new. The time keepers that sat out in the sun in their highchairs staring at a tree across the Canal as a point of reference when the cayucos hit the "Finish Line". And all the support personnel to make sure they were there should the teams need them. 

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And here's how the heats went: 

Junior (Trophy):

1st Heat  2nd Heat  3rd Heat
Rapid Transit 2:13.49 Carioca 2:08.99  NIC 2:17.19
Utmost 2:18.91  Sudden Impact 2:17.05 Lone Star 2:18.74
Rio Senales 2:36.73 Dear Dick 2:23.36 Sweet Poison 2:40.61
Bruised Reed DNF Almost 2:24.99

Runners Up:

Sudden Impact 2:16.31 Almost 2:23.14
Utmost 2:17.46 Lone Star 2:25.84
Rio Senales 2:25.99 Dear Dick 2:36.38
Sweet Poison 2:38.79 Bruised Reed Disqualified


Almost 2:12.62 Carioca 2:1079
NIC 2:12.63 Rapid Transit 2:11.09
Sudden Impact 2:13.81 Lone Star 2:20.53
Utmost 2:14.88

Finals Champion Male Category:
Carioca 2:10.94
Rapid Transit 2:11.76
NIC 2:15.58
Almost 2:21.43

Female Category Champion Female Category: 
Deception 2:22.44 
Jungle Crews DNF

Mixed Category (Coed):

Del Fin 2:29.91 Deception 2:17.14
Front Runner 2:30.84 The Most 2:31.58
Gone P'Lante 2:31.13 Final Most 2:36.28

Runners Up:
The Most 2:36.07
Front Runner 2:36.57
Gone P'Lante 2:39.71
Final Most 2:40.79

Finals Champion Coed: 
Deception 2:20.16
Del Fin 2:21.72
Front Runner 2:32.29
The Most 2:33.26

Open Category:

Predator 2:19.79 Almost 2:22.46
High Anxiety 2:22.55 Deception 2:29.22
Expreso Comando 2:24.53 Bruised Reed 2:37.53
Bruised Reed DNF

Runners Up Final:

Expreso Comando 2:17.77 Predator 2:17.87
High Anxiety 2:20.61 Almost 2:18.46
Deception 2:30.25 Expreso Comando 2:20.57
High Anxiety 2:21.13

Champion Open Category: