Venturer crews successful at Bayou Liberty
Published 2:48 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2017
By Col. Bobby Miller
Special to the Daily News
The Venturer Crew Scouts from Bogalusa’s 313 and Bush’s 213 Boy Scouts of America continued their winning ways in the Bayou Liberty canoe and pirogue races held Sunday, June 4.
The daylong event, which is sponsored by the Bayou Liberty Civic Center as a fundraiser, is a healthy mix of fun and competition involving canoes, pirogues and kayaks.
The races involving youth competitors has become one of the top family attractions, with 14 racing events — 10 pirogue races, three canoe races and one kayak race.
The annual event has made the races one of the longest, organized outdoor events in south Louisiana, now in its 65th year, making it the only surviving venue for competitive pirogue racing in southeast Louisiana.
The area scouts initially competed only in the canoe class of the race before expanding their participants to include the pirogue. Since that time, they have increasingly dominated the Bayou Liberty competition and this year was no exception.
Participating in seven of the pirogue races, the local scouts captured first place in each.
In the canoe class, they failed to place only in the blindfold race, winning first through fourth place in each of the two elimination races to qualify for and win the finals in the two-person canoe championship race.
This overall performance was very impressive and a credit to themselves, their leaders and appreciated by the many parents and fans in attendance.
The first pirogue race was in the common boat class, with Crew 313’s Brannan Crosby winning first and Josh Gulczynski second, followed by third-place Wayne Berry of Gulfport, Miss., and fourth-place Will Walsten of Slidell, and fifth place Dustin Dampier of Bayou Liberty.
The boys’ ages 13-16 pirogue race was swept by Crew 313 with James Stevenson III winning the event, Gulczynski second, Rex Perrette third and Zachary Kirkland fourth, with Michael Doulittle of Slidell fifth.
In the boys’ 8-12 age group, Bogalusa’s Nicholas Miller won first place with Slidell’s Ross King second and paddling for Bogalusa, Gabriel des Bordes third and Christine des Bordes fourth. Post advisor Col. Bob Miller stated that you have to start training early.
In the girls’ 8-12 race, Franklinton’s Ansley Mulina won first place representing Crew 313.
The girls’ 13-16 race was won by Crew 213’s Lauren Haik of Bogalusa.
In the Ladies’ championship race, Franklinton’s Kirsten Barber took first place for Crew 213.
The final pirogue event was the Mens’ Pirogue Race with former Crew 313 Scout Paul Dauterive winning his fifth consecutive championship ahead of second-place Gulfport’s Jeb Berry and third place Walsten in the adult competition.
Dauterive recently won the Bogalusa Rotary Club’s 5K Milltown Classic.
The canoeing event of the race consisted of two-person canoe elimination heats with first through fourth place paddlers of each heat competing in the finals of the two-person canoe championship race.
Heat winners in the first elimination race were Crew 313 paddlers Dauterive/Daniel Miley in first, followed by Crosy/John Hartzog in second, Dylan Seals/Christian Weintritt in third, Jacob Stillwell/Matthew Kirkland in fourth and Barber/Haik in fifth.
Second heat winners were Roo Breland/Kory Breland in first, Perrette/Matthew Dennis in second and Gulczynski/Stevenson in third.
The finals of the two-person canoe championship race, which featured six teams, had only canoe teams of Bogalusa Venturer Crew 313 participating.
Alumni Crew 313 paddlers Dauterive and Miley captured first place in the event with Roo Breland and Rory Breland second, Hartzog and Crosby third, Seals and Weintritt fourth, Dennis and Perrette fifth and Gulczynski and Stevenson sixth.
Qualifying teams of Barber and Haik of Crew 213 and Stillwell of Crew 313 did not compete in the championship race.
Overall, it was a banner day for the scouts of Bogalusa Venturer Crew 313, sponsored by The Daily News, and Bush Venturer Crew, sponsored by the Sun Methodist Church.
The next competitive event for the scouts will be the 110-mile Bogue Chitto Canoe Marathon on July 20-22.