Registration for the 135-mile, three-day race ended Friday.
The first, second and third prizes are based on 4, 2 and 1 percent, respectively, of the overall prize pot. For each paddler. So that’s $400 for a second place, and $200 for a third.
Also increased is the Bourré Pot in each Racing class, which will pay $1,000, to be shared by all paddlers in the boat, for besting last year’s time. They’re called bourré pots because if nobody beats the time in a given class, that money rolls over and is added to for the next Tour du Teche. Some of these pots might grow to become quite large.
The other big news is that racers going around the Keystone Dam will have a state-of-the-art portage, thanks to St. Martin Parish Government and the St. Martin Sheriff’s Office.
Parish President Guy Cormier used money from a recreational fund for materials and Sheriff Ronny Theriot provided skilled trustee labor to construct an all-weather portage around Keystone Lock and Dam on a right-of-way the parish inherited from the Corps of Engineers. The slopes will feature wooden ramps with handrails and a padded trough down the middle for dragging a fragile boat without damaging it. Connecting the ramps is an asphalt path. According to TDT Director General Ray Pellerin, who conceived of the improvements, this should set the standard for portages all over the country.
Tour du Teche III begins with a kick-off ceremony in Port Barre on Thursday, Oct. 4. Racing is from Port Barre to St. Martinville (49 miles) on Friday, Oct. 5; St. Martinville to Franklin (59 miles) on Saturday, Oct. 6; and Franklin to Berwick (29 miles) on Sunday, Oct. 7.
The entry fee for Racing, which competes for cash prizes, is $125 per paddler.
Here are the times to beat for the Bourré Pots:
Class A – 22:7:59 (Tave Lamperez and Wally Werderich).
Class B – 24:51:07 (Scott Weinert).
Class C – 21:11:15 (Allan Lamb and Richard Steppe).
Class D – 25:12:22 (Gareth Stevens).
Class E – 24:59:58 (Steve Conlon and Pat Faul).
Class F – 27:14:37 (Ginsie Stauss and Teddy Gray).
There is also an adventure division called Voyageur where racers compete for trophies. Voyageurs may compete in the Tour du Teche or any of several one-day events:
Crawfish – 34 miles from Port Barre to Breaux Bridge, Friday, Oct. 5.
Acadian – 49 miles from Port Barre to St. Martinville, Friday, Oct. 5.
Hot Sauce – 24 miles from St. Martinville to New Iberia, Saturday, Oct. 6.
Sugar – 59 miles from St. Martinville to Franklin, Saturday, Oct. 6.
Oil & Gas – 27 miles from Franklin to Berwick, Sunday, Oct. 7.
Voyageur registration is $80 per paddler for the TDT, $60 for the shorter races.
For more information, go to www.tourduteche.com.