Bowl, paddle, run: Welcome to Yokosuka's wacky new competition
July 24, 2006
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Green Bay Marina Manager Dennis Lindemann calls it an “unusual” kind of race.
Contestants will find themselves bowling, shooting hoops and darting around Yokosuka, led by clues they find in mystery boxes. Oh — and getting to the mystery boxes requires a kayak, as the boxes will be floating in Green Bay.
This is Yokosuka’s first Land and Sea Race. It’s to take place Saturday at 11 a.m. The event is a combination foot-and-kayak race with more than a few twists.
Here’s how it works: Start with a team of four, two are “land” racers and two “sea” kayakers.
Teams alternate land/sea legs. In each leg, the team seeks out a bright yellow waterproof box that contains a marker, which corresponds to a clue found back at the marina. The markers will be used to track each team, as they will run the same-length course in a different order. Sound simple?
A wrinkle: At each land station, the team performs a task and cannot move forward until both members are successful.
“This might be knocking down some pins at the bowling alley or paddling a tube around the pool with your hands,” Lindemann said. It also could mean pitching a tent, shooting hoops or tricycle riding, as all of the skills will be tested in MWR facilities. This is no accident, he said: “Part of what we want to do is get people into the MWR facilities while participating in a cool event.”
Another wrinkle: the clues rhyme.
“The important thing is to have fun,” Lindemann said. “This is not a serious competition.”
Green Bay Marina is shooting for six teams to compete — which, incidentally, also is how many kayaks the marina has. Lindemann said two teams, both from the USS Stethem, have signed up so far.
“It’s a race, but not the kind of race where you have to be a fitness nut,” he said. “Anyone can enter.”
Entrants must sign up by Tuesday; no race-day registrations will be allowed. Each four-person team pays a $30 entrance fee. Medals will be given out and a barbecue will be held after the race.