Chaotic Kayak Race- Guest Post by Waterbase Manager: Jeff Keleher

If you haven’t heard, St John’s 3rd Annual Chaotic Kayak Fundraiser Race was held Sunday, July 28th. Not only did everyone have a great time, but the event was a huge success!  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the race, it is a fund raising event held on St. John for Team River Runner’s Wounded Warriors Program.  All of the proceeds will be used to help our country’s wounded veterans and their loved ones make a trip down island to relax and heal in the beautiful waters of the Caribbean.

This year 32 teams participated, all of which were sponsored by local businesses here on St. John.  Prior to the race, each team is given an online donation page to help raise additional funds which, in turn, helps teams gain earlier starting times on race day. For every $100 that is raised before the race, a team is awarded a 5 second head start with no limit on the amount of pre-race donations.  This means a team can have a huge starting advantage and, given the number of teams in this year’s competition, pre-race donations were critical.

The fundraiser took place on Oppenheimer beach. The race was a sprint that led participants out and around the Sadie Sea, which was on a mooring roughly 200 yards away, and back to the beach. The race consisted of 8 heats of 4 teams. Each team had 3 people in the kayak, two people paddling and a team member in the middle with a water gun to shoot the other teams.

Going into this year’s race, Arawak Expeditions was the clear favorite to win. Arawak runs the strongest and most popular kayak outfitting company on island with their guides being some of the most competent kayakers on island.  They are known for their strenuous, multi-day kayaking expeditions which take guests throughout the British Virgin Islands. However, this year was different. Scotia Bank was able to secure the victory with a combination of pre-race donations, strong kayaking skills, and determination!

For many of us on St. John, the Chaotic Kayak competition is just another reason to have a good time, but for others, this event provides a greatly appreciated vacation with loved ones and a time not to be forgotten. Can’t wait for next year!

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