Colombians speed to victory in World River Marathon Championships
Power boat enthusiasts gathered in Colombia at the end of last year for a test of navigational skill, speed and endurance in the 2014 World River Marathon Championships.
The 1025km race lasts seven days and has been dubbed the Dakar rally of the river. Forty drivers from 12 nations took part in the race on Colombia’s most important river, the Magdalena, beginning in Puerto Boyaca and finishing in Barranquilla.
Colombia took both crowns – Andrés Botero and Rafael Ramos won class OB 3000 and Gustavo Jimeno and Richard Tejedor claimed victory in class OB 2000.
This was the fifth world title for 69 year-old Botero, Colombia’s Minister for Sports.
The power boat fanatic was also responsible for creating the Magdalena River Boat race in 1985 and is the former President of the International Waterski Federation.
“We demonstrated that Colombians know how to navigate rivers, especially those like the Magdalena which is very complicated,” Botero said, adding “but the most important is that we demonstrated that a sporting life can be prolonged if one is careful”.
By Freek Huigen
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