Polish your paddles and get ready for La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge 2018.

La Ruta Maya Belize River Race is one of the world’s wildest festivals. Starting in the foothills of the Maya Mountains, contestants paddle a perilous and punishing 4-day course along the ancient Route of the Mayas. Some of the proceeds from this river regatta are used to raise awareness about Belize’s phenomenal natural resources, some of which, like the Belize Barrier Reef, are at risk.

Professional racers and amateur paddlers are welcome – this is a race for the whole family! The 8 divisions for the race are Male; Female; Mixed; Masters; Dory; Intramural; Pleasure Craft; and Family Adventure Race.

Embarking at the historic Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio, the only suspension bridge in Belize, participants launch their vessels into the Macal River and paddle furiously towards the Belize River along the Route of the Mayas. Billed as “170 miles of river racing”, 3-member teams paddle 49 miles on Day 1; 60 miles on Day 2; 36 miles on Day 3 and 26 miles on the fourth and final day.  The Annual Ruta Maya Race, founded and organized by Cayo Tropical Fruits takes place from March 9th to 12th, 2018. There’s still time to dip into your pool of friends to organize a team!

The exotic location of this grueling, 4-day race is further heightened by its enigmatic origins. In 1925, a wealthy and eclectic yachtsman sailed into Belizean waters, impelled by the promise of great fishing there. This seafaring mogul, the Fourth Baron of the Former Kingdom of Portugal, also known as Baron Bliss, instantly fell in love with Belize. However, a physical infirmity, alternately ascribed to polio, paralysis or food poisoning, prevented him from physically setting foot on Belize soil. Baron Bliss died aboard his yacht, “Sea King”, on March 9, 1926 some two months after sighting Belize.

Incredibly, he bequeathed the bulk of his estate – some US$2 million – to the people of Belize. Of the $2 million, he stipulated that 100 British pounds be set aside for an Annual Regatta in Belize. Such it was that March 9th was declared Baron Bliss Day, a National Holiday in Belize, celebrated with much fanfare, parties, fishing tournaments, and regattas throughout the country. La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, set in one of the world’s most historic and verdant waterways, pays tribute to this man whose love of the Belize High Seas was only exceeded by his love for the people of Belize.

For further information regarding La Ruta Maya Belize River Race, log onto their Facebook page.

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