Preparing to paddle to the Mine Dock
Article and Photos by Eric Jackson

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Paddling can be one of the easier sports to practice, but not if one wants to do well in the Gamboa Regatta or the annual Ocean-to-Ocean Cayuco Race. Those are some serious athletic competitions, and the best crews are to be found at the Diablo boat launch just about every afternoon, working themselves into shape.

The main competition, the three-day race through the canal from Cristobal to Diablo, began 50 years ago and was run for most of that time by the now-defunct Canal Zone Council of the Boy Scouts of America. It's now a Panamanian event, sponsored by the Abou Saad Shrine and blessed by the Panama Canal Authority. This year, as last, there will be crews from the United States participating as well.

The Gamboa Regatta, a sprint that's a warmup for and often a bellweather of the larger event, will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 1 next to the old Gamboa airstrip. Two weeks later, on April 14, 15, and 16, comes the Ocean-to-Ocean Race, with the most challenging part, the Gatun to Gamboa leg, coming on the second day.

These photographs are the exclusive property of the photographer.  Reproduction by any means is strictly prohibited without the written permission of CZBrats.

March 28, 2000

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