Don't let Friday's torrential downpour — or Saturday's weather forecast — fool you: The Buffalo Bayou Regatta has an important anniversary to celebrate and it isn't going to let these silly inclement conditions interfere.
"As of today, the race will go on!" Trudi Smith, director of PR and events for the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, told CultureMap Friday evening. "For inclement weather Saturday morning, please check our website at www.buffalobayou.org and call 713.752.0314 for updates."
Wear a waterproof rain jacket. Bring goggles and a dry bag for your personal belongings — and perhaps a small cup for scooping water out of your vessel if things get really bad.
There will be incentive to paddle through the rain.
Waiting at the finish line? Complimentary Freebirds burritos and St. Arnold brews, live Zydeco music and a ton of prizes — including a kayak from Austin Canoe & Kayak, goodies from REI, a Houstonian Hotel package and RodeoHouston tickets.
Fayza Elmostehi taught us the paddling basics last year, but the conditions for this race are different. Since the ride will go on, precipitation or no, CultureMap culled some kayaking and canoeing tips from the pros and from the events organizers.
- Assume that you will get wet. Even if the skies don't open up, the bayou is a body of water, so wear comfortable clothes and old canvas shoes for the trip. Be prepared with dry shoes at the end of the route "to avoid a fatal case of pickled feet."
- Wear a waterproof rain jacket. Bring goggles and a dry bag for your personal belongings — and perhaps a small cup for scooping water out of your vessel if things get really bad.
- All of that paddling will make you thirsty, and nothing beats bottled water or sports drinks. Squeeze tops are easier to manage than caps. Hands-free CamelBaks are even easier.
Find yourself near the back of the pack? Don't worry! You can still be in the running for the "Shell Styrofoam Cup" — just pick up trash along the way, and the Buffalo Bayou Partnership/Shell representatives may select you based upon the quantity and/or originality of your booty. The BBP is also hosting its first photo contest this year if your talents lie nearer to the aesthetic than the physical.
And unless you hear otherwise — paddle on!