The third Kayak Challenge, a fund raising event for the Abaco Cancer Society and Friends of the Environment, was a great financial success with double the business sponsorship over last year. Helen Jacobs was the lucky winner (considering every raffle ticket had been sold) of the grand raffle prize, a Hobe kayak donated by Lightbourn Marine.
The event took place, as scheduled, on November 9 in spite of heavy morning showers and strong winds.
Under an overcast, threatening sky, the forty participants assembled at Pete’s Pub in Little Harbour, enthusiastically ready to cover the seven miles stretch around the Bight of Old Robinson. People undertaking the challenge were kayakers and paddle-boarders.
The route had been changed because strong east winds made it dangerous to get out of the harbor. So after a short briefing by one of the organizers, Adam Lawrence, the boat captains and their mates, as well as the paddle-boarders, were driven by trucks to the beach where the kayaks had already been assembled. The paddle-boarders left for another close-by area, but the kayakers took off at around 10:30 am, eventually separating to go left and around the creek.
Upon their arrival at Pete’s Pub, the participants had been welcomed by some of the organizers and volunteers who helped them register, reminding them that they could either pay $25.00 with the understanding that they would raise $100.00 in pledges or pay the $100.00 in advance. With their contribution they received a complimentary T-Shirt decorated by artist Marjolein Scott. Supporters who wanted to contribute could buy T- shirts and caps for $20.00 as well as mugs with the Friends of The Environment logo for $25.00.
In the meantime, people kept arriving to Pete’s Pub where free Bloody Maries could be had. They socialized around the bar and on the upper deck while waiting for the return of the athletes.
The first team to complete the course were two visitors, Sue Bourke and Mary Jane O’Hair, who, they said, had little experience in kayaking. They arrived at the departure point at 1:00 pm. They were among the six people who completed the entire course.
The other four individual kayakers who managed to fight the strong winds to return to the starting point were Adam Lawrence, Dr. Buddy Wiles from Virginia, Marjolein Scott and James Richard
Herminette Jean Noel also returned at 1:00 pm. Anna Albury and Amanda Lightbourn followed a few minutes later, but they stopped at the paddle-boarders’ departure site.
Three daring sportsmen, Matthew McCoy, Christopher Higgs and Luke Allen, decided to brave the rough seas around the point and kayaked all the way back to Pete’s Pub.
Marjolein Scott, another of the organizers and a participant, said that although shorter than last year, the distance was more challenging because of the weather.
The event was organized by members of both organizations, which included Kristin Williams, Cha Boyce, Sarah Fair and Ruth Albury all with Friends of the Environment. Heather Moore was the coordinator for Pete’s Pub.