The Panama Canal is the unique venue for the world's only ocean-to-ocean Regatta for paddling, rowing and kayaking. Originally organized by Americans who lived in the former American Canal Zone, this unusual event has taken place every April for 43 years. Until 2000 it was open only for paddlers in Panama's native Indian dugouts called "cayucos".
From 2001, however, the marathon and the speed event has been international for the first time and open to rowing and kayaking as well. Participants will be able to tell their children and grandchildren that they rowed "ocean to ocean" via a fully functioning Panama Canal.
You'll find this is a great sport for you or your kids to get involved in, as it requires commitment, hard work, team coordination, and the community is full of great people. Traditionally cayuco athletes abstain from all smoking and drinking during training season (typically from October-April).
There are three Panama Canal Regattas which take place from February to April. One is a speed regatta of 1000 and 2000 meters. Another is a race along side of the Amador Causeway, next to the Balboa Yacht Club. The main event however is a ocean-to-ocean marathon race with several legs over a three day period in the Canal. It begins in San Cristobal on the Atlantic side and ends in Diablo on the Pacific side.
The paddlers are split into different categories based on age and sex. There is a male, female and coed section in both the Juvenile (age 14-21) and Open (21 and older) categories. However the Juvenile category is also restricted to using four paddlers per boat and cannot use a rudder.
The Panama Rowing Federation, a member of the International Rowing Association is one of principle sponsors of the Regatta.
Contact Info:Balboa Paddle Club
Address: Edificio Edioacc (Old 24 hours), Diablo, PanamÃ¡.
Office hours: M-F, 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Panama Star Tours
Tel: (507)265-7970 Specializing in athletic tourism and active in hosting
and organizing international participants and spectators.