About 48 hours ago, Chief posted the following on the WaterTribe forums:
We will not be using Grande Tours for CP1 this year. Starting with EC2013 CP1 will be at Cape Haze Marina ( http://capehazemarina.com/ ) along with Hooked On SUP ( http://www.hookedonsup.com/ ) in Placida. This is a bit north of Grande Tours and a bit south of Stump Pass. I will begin publishing details this weekend.
There are a few docks for classes 4 and 5. First come, first served.
There is a floating dock for all other classes with a boat cart and volunteers to help move boats up to the camping area. This will be a bit different from what we are used to at Grande Tours but we will get used to it.
There are rest rooms, shower, laundry, pool, hot tub.
There is free access for family and friends (hugs and kisses only – no support).
We’ll still have a fire ring and other stuff.
This looks like a great place and the people there are very friendly and big fans of WaterTribe.
Wow! This is going to make the Challenge quite interesting! I’ve always been leery of Stump Pass, so I’m glad I’ll be in a small enough boat that I can get out ans walk through the shallows if the channel currents are too strong. I might have to row a bit more, but there won’t be any backtracking, like at Grande Tours (it was only a small amount, but I’m geared to only go forward!) In fact, I could even take the Venice Canal and skip the outside route completely if the wind is right (otherwise, it’s Michael, Row That Thing, or 20,000 Tacks On Top Of The Sea). I will, however, miss the uniqueness of Grande Tours… stop in sometime, it’s an awesome kayaking spot with great people.
Chief, when queried about the venue change, added the following:
Nothing WaterTribers did caused this change. We just outgrew the site. We had too many boats, too many people, too much noise, not enough parking, and so on.
I just want to say that I loved Grande Tours and still do. It is a great kayak shop and launch point. The people there are really nice and they were all very helpful. I loved the campfire at night and watching for boats coming up the creek. But the last couple of years have been a real problem due to the size of our event.
But who says we lost the bridge filter? After checking in at the new CP1, you have to continue down and swing around just like before. After you go under the bridge you have to paddle or row up the creek until you get stuck in the mud. Then hit the OK button. You have to be very quiet and no cursing. At that point you can turn around and proceed. (Just kidding, but if there is enough weeping, I can put that in the official course. Now that I really think about it, it could be a really good idea because I hate losing that filter. 🙂
The other filters like the width between the bridge supports was pretty open anyway with the new bridge. I think the entrance to the marina is about the same in that regard. Oyster bars, rowing – still there throughout the course.
There is plenty of nice grass for pitching lots of tents. People coming in to pickup UM racers won’t have a problem.
There is no beach to land on in the marina, but you will have help moving your kayak up from the floating dock to the camping area. Or you will be able to tie off your kayak and leave it in the water if you want. Of course, you can just check in and leave. There are plenty of campsites as you proceed down the course.
One added filter, possibly unintended, is that the new checkpoint has… A HOT TUB!Combine that with a rum runner or seven, and it may be the toughest filter the Everglades Challenge has ever seen!!