3rd Annual Tour du Teche

Tour du Teche Slated for October 5 – 7, 2012
Tour du Teche is a 135 mile canoe/kayak/pirogue race through the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun Country and takes place the first weekend in October, and this year it will be held on October 5th, 6th, and 7th. This race is entering its third year and is now organized by Executive Director Nichole Patin and Directors General Ray Pellerin and Ken Grissom. Partners include Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau, St. Mary Parish, St. Landry Tourist Commission, St. Martin Tourist Commission, and Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau. Paddlers for this race will pass through four parishes, woods, swamps, cane fields, and a dozen of the friendliest communities around. 
The race will begin in Port Barre, Louisiana at the Port Barre Boat Launch and travel 135 miles down Bayou Teche where it will end in Berwick, Louisiana at the Southwest Reef Lighthouse on the Atchafalaya River. Tour du Teche will have three racing stages: Stage 1: Gabriel, Port Barre to St. Martinville, 49 miles; Stage 2: Chitimacha, St. Martinville to Franklin, 59 miles; Stage 3: Roughneck, Franklin to Berwick, 27 miles. There will be shorter race routes, Voyageur divisions, open for participants such as: Crawfish, Port Barre to Breaux Bridge, 34 miles; Acadian, Port Barre to St. Martinville, 49 miles; Hot Sauce, St. Martinville to New Iberia; 24 miles; Sugar, St. Martinville to Franklin, 59 miles; and Oil & Gas, Franklin to Berwick, 27 miles. 
Tour du Teche will overnight in St. Martinville on Friday, October 5th and in Franklin on Saturday, October 6th. There will be live music at each stop along with vendors selling food, soft drinks, and beer. Live entertainment for these stops is to be determined. 
Tour du Teche was created by the TECHE (Teche, Ecology, Culture, History, & Education) Project, which started in 2009 in St. Landry Parish. This organization is comprised of people who are passionate about making Bayou Teche a healthier waterway for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, tubing, and swimming. Communities and volunteers throughout the past few years have come together to pull debris from the bayou, and they will continue to hold public cleanups regularly and encourage volunteers with motorboats, kayaks, canoes and pirogues to join.
The TECHE Project will also host the Inaugural Petite Tour du Teche, September 8th - 9th, 2012. Petite Tour du Teche is a series of short races for young paddlers from ages 5 to 17, the first of which will be held on Bayou Teche in Breaux Bridge September 8th and 9th. Distances range from 250 yards to 1 mile. The purpose of the Petite Tour du Teche is to create a racing opportunity for paddlers too young to compete in Tour du Teche, thereby creating a love of the sport and stewardship of the bayou for the future. 
To register for Tour du Teche, Voyageur divisions, or the Petite Tour du Teche visit www.tourduteche.com for registration forms. Registration is now open and will close on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm. For additional information contact Nichole Patin at (337) 394-6232, visit www.tourduteche.com, or email info@tourduteche.com. You can also contact the Cajun Coast Visitors & Convention Bureau at (800)256-2931, visit their website at www.cajuncoast.com, or email info@cajuncoast.com for extra information.