Team Slim and Trim Claims Victory Again in the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge

Team Slim and Trim Claims Victory Again in the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge

Team Slim and Trim Like Guava Limb are now two-time champions of the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. The team of Javier Guardado Jr., Daniel Cruz Jr., and Andres Cabb Jr. was able to dominate the competition for the second year in a row. The team placed first in the male category and was followed by Team Luca Oil Male and Belize Coast Guard 1.5, who placed second and third respectively. Reporter Vejea Alvarez was there throughout the race and tells us more. 

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: It was an exciting and spectacular race to the finish for the young Slim and Trim Like Guava Limb trio on Monday as they catapulted ahead of Team Lucas Oil Male and Black Orchid Resort to glide into first place. The defending champs once again secured the coveted Kinich Ahau trophy after consistently fighting the rapids, the debris, and the fierce competition from other teams. An accomplishment that the young men say was also possible thanks to God.

Andres Cabb Jr, Team Member, Slim and Trim Like Guava Limb: “I want to say thanks to God that give us the opportunity to be here. I want to give thanks to Guava Limb Cafe and Chaa Creek and thanks to Mr.Emil and thanks to all our fans and thanks to my family, my mom, my dad.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: 21-year-old Javier Guardado Jr., 16-year-old Daniel Cruz Jr., and 21-year-old Andres Cabb Jr. were able to hold the first-place position throughout the four-day race and say their masterful performance resulted from months of practice.

Andres Cabb Jr, Team Member, Slim and Trim Like Guava Limb: “We started practicing in November. We’d practice every Tuesday, Thursday and Sundays. Well thanks to our boss that gave us the time to train. Everyday we sit down and talked the four of us the manager and three of us we sit down and talk and plan what would be the plan for the following day and we plan it and how we plan it thanks to God everything went like how we planned.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The team of young men, whose fathers are all legends, are seen as the future of paddling. According to Cruz and Cabb, they have all been paddling since they were only kids. 

Daniel Cruz, Team Member, Slim and Trim Like Guava Limb: “I did my first race when I was eight, then I did my first Ruta Maya when I was nine.”

Andres Cabb Jr, Team Member, Slim and Trim Like Guava Limb: “I did my first Ruta Maya when I was fourteen I think.”

Ernesto Vasquez, Host, The Morning Show: How old are you now ?

Andres Cabb Jr, Team Member, Slim and Trim Like Guava Limb: “Twenty.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The trio won the last leg in 2 hours, 42 minutes, 58 seconds, besting Team Lucas Oil Male by a single second. Overall, the team completed the four-day 170-mile journey in 18 hours, 24 minutes, 22 seconds. There were several fan favourite teams like Team Lucas Oil Mixed whose paddlers were commended for their sportsmanship. Fans also cheered on the young paddlers like Shane Young Jr, Thomas Searle and Leon Lord Jr. The champs’ manager, Emil Bradley, says that like many of the other sponsors it was an opportunity to support a group of paddlers in doing what they love while raising awareness for the environmental, historic and cultural aspects of the waterways.

(Left to Right) Emil Bradley, Daniel Cruz , Andres Cabb Jr,

Emil Bradley, Team Manager, Slim and Trim Like Guava Limb: “This is just a way of us giving back to the community and I met these guys through the granduncle who they were looking for a sponsor when they were very young, they only did one race I think, andres wasn’t with us it was somebody else and then the following year Andres joined us. My role and why I’m so deeply involved in it is because I want to make things go right for them you know ? Make sure everything – we can’t falter because that could cost us our win if we falter in any way. And as the manager for these young boys I see potential in them, the most important thing they’re disciplined, I mean we sit down and we discuss our issues if we have anything and we just nail it out together amongst ourselves. So this is something I’m trying to display for our team to display good sportsmanship which is lacking in Belize that is our main thing to show other teams that we don’t have to be making noise but could do what we need to do.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Paddlers are expected to start training for the 2025 race very soon… after all, it’s more than just a race. 

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