Racing is a run for hefty cash prizes. Voyageurs are in it for bragging rights, self-satisfaction, even fun – plus trophies for the top three finishers in each class.
Tour du Teche is a 135-mile three-day staged marathon with finish lines in St. Martinville, Franklin and Berwick. As in 2011, there will also be shorter one-day races for Voyageur classes only.
First-place finisher in each Racing class receives 4 percent of the prize money, second 2 percent and third 1 percent.
In addition, there’s a Bourré Pot for each class that may be claimed by any boat beating the record for that class set in 2011. As of Dec. 1, the total pot was $3,000, to which 16 percent of the 2012 prize money will be added. That’s an extra $500 plus for any class winner who can beat those 2011 times.
If a pot is not claimed, the money rolls over and grows for the following year.
TDT III classes are as follows:
•CLASS A (Fourre Tout – Catch All)
This is for any boat that doesn’t fit in one of the other categories. The only limitation – other than it must be paddled or pedalled – is a maximum crew of four.
The record time for this class is 22 hours, 7 minutes and 59 seconds set by Tave Lamperez and Wally Werderich.
•CLASS B (Solo Double Blade Paddle)
Virtually any boat paddled like a kayak by one person. The record set by Scott Weinert is 24:51:07.
•CLASS C (Tandem Double Blade Paddle)
Virtually any boat paddled like a kayak by two persons. Allan Lamb and Richard Steppe set the record at 21:11:15.
•CLASS D (Solo Single Blade Paddle)
Paddled like a canoe. No rudder allowed. The record set by Gareth Stevens is 25:12:22.
•CLASS E (Tandem Single Blade Paddle)
Paddled like a canoe. No rudder allowed. The record is 24:59:58 set by Steve Conlon and Pat Faul.
•CLASS F (USCA C2)
This includes Standard C2s, Pro-Boats and USCA Cruisers.
Ginsie Stauss and Teddy Gray set the record at 27:14:37.
•CLASS G (Fourre Tout – Catch All)
•CLASS H (Solo Double Blade Paddle)
•CLASS I (Tandem Double Blade Paddle)
•CLASS J (Solo Single Blade Paddle)
•CLASS K (Tandem Single Blade Paddle)
•CLASS L (Solo Pirogue)
For TDT purposes, a pirogue must have a flat bottom and hard or angular chines.
•CLASS M (Tandem Pirogue)
•CLASS N (Pedal Drive)
Solo or tandem.
The entry fee for Tour du Teche is $125 per paddler in the Racing Division, $80 per paddler in the Voyageur Division. (NOTE: Meals will not be included in TDT III.)
The one-day races, open only to the Voyageur classes, are:
•Crawfish – 34 miles from Port Barre to Breaux Bridge, Friday, Oct. 5. Registration is $60 per paddler.
•Acadian – 49 miles from Port Barre to St. Martinville, Friday, Oct. 5. Registration $60 per paddler.
•Hot Sauce – 24 miles from St. Martinville to New Iberia, Saturday, Oct. 6. Registration $60 per paddler.
•Sugar – 59 miles from St. Martinville to Franklin, Saturday, Oct. 6. Registration $60 per paddler.
•Oil & Gas – 27 miles from Franklin to Berwick, Sunday, Oct. 7. Registration $60 per paddler.
In addition to cash prizes and trophies, each crew member from a boat winning its class in the Tour du Teche receives an official TDT windbreaker, and each crew member in a boat finishing first-in-class for each of the three segments gets a special T-shirt: red for Gabriel (Port Barre to St. Martinville), green for Chitimacha (St. Martinville to Franklin) and black for Roughneck (Franklin to Berwick).
All finisher receive a Tour du Teche cap, and all registered paddlers get TDT T-shirts.
For more information, got to www.techeproject.com.