Kayak race brings families together
PANAMA. When the Prietos, Marissa and Pablo, decided to start the Balboa Paddle Club, CREBA, to preserve the tradition that started in ...
PANAMA. When the Prietos, Marissa and Pablo, decided to start the Balboa Paddle Club, CREBA, to preserve the tradition that started in 1854 with the Americans living in the former Canal Zone, they did not imagine the popularity that the competition would reach throughout the years.
Starting today, close to 400 people in 100 kayaks will participate in the Ocean to Ocean Cayuco Race, traveling from Colon across the Canal until Sunday. The race starts from the former Cristobal Yacht Club in Colon to Gatun lake (Friday), continuing to Gamboa (Saturday) and ending in Diablo (Sunday).
Those who cover the trajectory in the shortest time will be prized, according to two categories (youth and general) and three subcategories (male, female, and mixed).
Kayaking, practiced on small boats built by indigenous people, aims to promote in both youngsters and adults alike an appreciation for tradition, natural resources, and the Panama Canal.
According to Rosario Valero, spokeswoman for CREBA and mother of some competitors: “This body and soul strengthening sport unites families, and brings the friends of competitors together in an atmosphere of awareness of the environment and social responsibility towards the Canal basin.”
Those who share a passion for kayaking hold similar thoughts, remarking that it is a great experience and a privilege that has led to different levels of personal development. “Every parent that experiences this sport with their kid sees them develop, suffer, enjoy, grow and mature,” said Olga de Ferrara.
But the sport is not exclusive for teens. Sandra Noriega decided to take part of it. Her daughter Ximena said, “it is gratifying to see my mom so excited for something that I like as well and I am happy to to share it with one of the people I love most in my life.”
For Xenia de Piedra, mother of two participants, the contest fills her with pride. “Today we see healthy girls, with character, who are staying away from vices,” she said.