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Take Me To The Water! The Greens Bayou Regatta!

Could the day have been any better? Recent rain filling the bayou, cooler weather, bright sunshine? We had it all! Our fastest paddler this year was Alan Lindsey, who won first place overall, paddling in the Solo Unlimited Class and coming in at 1:20:14. He was followed by Donna Kouwe at 1:20:46, who won the women's division of Solo Unlimited, then David Portz at 1:24:37 and Jason Gaswint who crossed the finish line at 1:32:46.

We had 42 boats in the Regatta this year, with 16 canoes entered in the Corporate Cup. The perpetual Corporate Cup once again was awarded to Kris Linberk & Ross Schkade, paddling for Commissioner Tom Ramsey, Harris County Pct. 3. They finished at 1:43:45, followed closely by Rick Howard and Aaron Dugas with SWCA Environmental Consultants in 2nd Place at 1:45:53. Taking 3rd were Roberto Contreras and Gelvin Gameriz with Coca Cola Southwest Beverages at 1:52:54.

The Tandem Performance teams were in good form this year, too. Grady Hicks and his son, Travis finished at 1:24:08. Elbe Duque Hicks and friend Dylan McGarry finished in the mixed class at 1:49:17. Dianne and Robert Coker entered the Tandem Recreational Canoe class, and came in at 1:26:13.

This mission of Greens Bayou Coalition is caring for the Greens Bayou watershed, of course. Quite a few people chose to collect trash from the bayou as they made their way down--and gathered 690 lbs. of bottles, tires, car bumpers, plastic chairs and other detritus and debris that ends up in bayous! The winner of the Prestigious Styrofoam Cup Trophy this year is a Corporate Cup Team: Dean Campa and Brian Jenison of Lone Star College - North Harris, bringing in just over 170 lbs of trash! In 2nd Place, another Corporate Cup team, this time from SWCA Environmental Consultants, Caitlyn and Jeff Chaney brought in 94.5 lbs! And in 3rd Place, also a Corporate Cup Team representing East Aldine District, Kimberly Price and Glenn Samuels III, loaded 74.6 lbs of trash onto their canoe. Thanks to everyone who helped with this major Bayou Cleanup! (And, of course, thanks to the Houston Parks Board who hauled all of it off the next day!)

Our Adventure Solo, Tandem Kayakers and non-competitive paddlers had great times, and/or had a great time paddling the Greens Bayou! And afterwards, we all enjoyed the "Best Lunch on the Bayou!" (brisket this year!) prepared by Barry Ross & Friends, some cold Coca Cola Southwest Beverages beverages and St. Arnold's beer while we listened to tunes presented by AR's Entertainment Hub. Photography is courtesy of Karen Gilligan. Start line video thanks to John Gilbert. Drone footage is courtesy of Michele Wilkins & Darrell Dooley. You can see (and download) more photos from Michele's Flick'r GBC Regatta site:

We are so thankful for all our volunteers who helped with registration, getting boats down to, and out of the water, and setting up and tearing down the tents, tables and chairs! And thanks to Precinct 3, Commissioner Tom Ramsey, Texas Search And Rescue, Commissioner Adrian Garcia, Pct. 2 and METRO for your in-kind donations. And thanks again and again to the sponsors whose monetary support made the Regatta happen: Presenting Sponsors: Coca Cola Southwest Beverages and East Aldine District; Gold Sponsor: SWCA Environmental Consultants; Silver Sponsors: Ratcliffe Adams Barner LLC and Lone Star College - North Harris; Bronze Sponsors: Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc., KNCS Constructor Services, LLC., and Fangyi Lu - SWA Group, and Copper Sponsor: LAN.


Special thanks from me to our nonprofit Parks partners and City of Houston for their help with everything, and to my wonderful Regatta/Paddle Trail Committee. And to the "other" paid employee of Greens Bayou Coalition, Marty Hughes, and unpaid "employee," my sister, Karen Gilligan: WOW. We did it again!!--Colleen



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