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Boat No. 35, nicknamed “Family Feud," races through Cottonseed Rapids last Saturday in the 2014 Texas Water Safari. Long-time Safari veteran John Bugge paddles in the back of the boat.

Another successful Texas Water Safari goes in the books

Sports Editor

As Ryan Ward and John West pulled their two-man canoe out of the San Antonio Bay on Wednesday afternoon, the 2014 Texas Water Safari drew to a close.

While two other boats reached Seadrift after them, Ward and West were the last of 76 teams to complete the 260-mile paddle before the 100-hour deadline.

When the race started last Saturday morning at the Aquarena Center, 101 teams sought to join Ward and West as finishers. Even though none paddled faster than Wade Binion, Andrew Condie, Jeff Glock, Gaston Jones, Ian Rolls and Clay Wyatt — the six-man team won the race in 40 hours, 3 minutes — 75 percent of those teams that put in the San Marcos River pulled out of the bay in time.

Compared to recent years, the 2014 Water Safari had an impressive amount of finishers. Only 2011 saw a higher percentage of teams touch the Seadrift Seawall.

Several records fell, as Holly Orr and Roger Zimmerman etched their name into the race’s history. Orr destroyed the previous Women’s USCA C-1 mark of 74:47 when she completed the 260-mile journey in 57:50. Zimmerman became the oldest paddler to finish the Water Safari at age 76.

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