WaterTribe, the group that organizes the annual 300-mile canoe/kayak race from St. Petersburg to Key Largo, has recognized the valiant, albeit ill-timed, attempt by the Insomniac team to complete this year's Everglades Challenge in a sail-equipped, 45-foot outrigger canoe.
The Insomniac's exploits were chronicled by team member Terry Tomalin, a.k.a., H.D. Agua, in the pages of the St. Petersburg Times and on his Wild Side blog earlier this month.
The paddlers pulled out of the competition about 180 miles into the race because they ran out of time, or they were spineless wimps, depending on who you believe.
At the race finish, WaterTribe member Marty Sullivan awarded the team a trophy, "Shoots Off Mouth into Foot" award.
The Insomniacs, who were back in St. Petersburg lounging in a hot tub, missed the awards ceremony, where it was noted that: "Underestimating the potential difficulties of a challenge is a common mistake. Prior to the event, this often leads to rash predictions of success. However, we WaterTribers have a motto: 'Hubris never goes unpunished.' As such, we now have a recurring award, Shoots Off Mouth into Foot. Congratulations to the team."
Meanwhile, the Insomniacs, which is comprised of Tomalin, Dr. George Stovall (Sandspur), Darry Jackson, (Dare-Jack), Casey LaLomia (Kauai Kid) and Aaron Freedman (Air Doc), have threatened to enter the race next year, this time in tandem kayaks.
As holders of the coveted award, the team must deliver the trophy to Key Largo when the WaterTribe meets again next March. Coming in 2010: Revenge of the Insomniacs.
Terry Tomalin, Times Outdoors Editor