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Sat, Sep 30


Bayou D'arbonne Boat Ramp

River Rat Challenge - Team Bayou Bandits!

Join some of your BCOS friends as part of the Bayou Bandits Team as they participate in the River Rat Challenge!

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River Rat Challenge - Team Bayou Bandits!
River Rat Challenge - Team Bayou Bandits!

Time & Location

Sep 30, 2023, 7:00 AM

Bayou D'arbonne Boat Ramp, 2038 Bayou Darbonne Dr, West Monroe, LA 71291, USA


About the event

Some important updates:

See this post on Facebook for more info on where our Bayou Bandit team will pick up their swag, learn our non-mandatory post-race dance and have our pre-race party.  Bring a chair and prepare to have fun! 

Here is the most recent post on the River Rat Paddle site:


Get your game face on! You can decorate your boat, yourself (in the spirit of your rat pack), and get ready for the Big Show! Taunting and cheering on the RRPC page is also encouraged. A few things you will need that are required and a few things that are recommended to know BEFORE the race are below:

BOAT DECAL Your Boat Decal needs to be affixed onto the front right side of the boat or pinned (straight pens) on the right side of lifejacket where it can be visible from the timing crew on the right side of the water. Don't forget to go THROUGH the two orange buoys at the finish line!

LIFEJACKETS Lifejackets are required! This is a MUST.

WHISTLE Whistle or horn. We do recommend each racer have a whistle in case of emergency so you can signal for help. Safety boats will be on the water, but there are a lot of racers on the water and whistles are a safety measure.

HYDRATE! Hydrate! Come into the race day, hydrated well! But bring water with you! It is Louisiana in September so we all know what that means. It could be 40 degrees or 90...but likely on the 90-side!

NO ALCOHOL No alchohol is allowed pre-race or during the race. Please do not have it with you at race time or during the race.

SAFETY MEETING There will be a mandatory safety meeting at 8:30 prior to race start.

  • Packet pickup is at Alley Park in West Monroe (off Trenton Street) on Friday evening before the race from 5:00-7:00pm.
  • Paddlers can drop off their watercraft at the starting point at Bayou D'Arbonne Boat Ramp, 2038 Bayou D'Arbonne Drive in West Monroe beginning at 6:30am Saturday.
  • Drive vehicles to Lazarre Park at 703 South Riverfront in West Monroe (about a 15 min drive).
  • Catch the shuttle buses in the parking lot at Lazarre Park (busses leave at 7:45, 8:00, and 8:15am), they will return you to the starting location.
  • Mandatory pre-race safety meeting in the boat launch parking lot at 8:30am.
  • Paddlers will leave the starting line when the gun goes off at 9:00am.
  • Paddle your way to the finish line at Lazarre Park.
  • Retrieve your watercraft.
  • Enjoy the food and after party!

Packet Pickup will be held on Friday evening, September 29, 2023, at Alley Park at Natchitoches and Trenton Streets in Downtown West Monroe, 5:00-7:00pm. It s a fabulous location to pick up everything you'll need for race day, have a meet and greet with your fellow River Rats, and enjoy some of the best food, beverages, and shopping around! There will be a live band and food trucks present for Ouachita Live. I'm not saying you can't pick up your goodies on race day, but we highly encourage participants to come Friday to avoid a huge rush and delays on race morning.

Special thanks to The City of West Monroe for providing us with event locations for the 7th Annual River Rat Paddle Challenge!


You can drop off your paddle craft at the Bayou D'Arbonne Public Boat Ramp at 2038 Bayou D'Arbonne Drive in West Monroe beginning around 6:30am, then please drive to Lazarre Park at 703 S Riverfront St in West Monroe (about a 15 minute drive). Park in the designated parking area. We plan to have school busses picking up racers from this parking lot and shuttling them back to the starting line. The race will begin with a mandatory safety briefing at 8:30am in the parking lot of the Bayou D'arbonne Boat Ramp. The starting gun goes off at 9:00am!


Only a few will rise to the CHALLENGE of crossing the original finish line at the Endom Bridge within the one hour mark, but all will race (or leisurely paddle) to the official finish line at Lazarre Park in West Monroe, LA. Make sure you paddle past the boat launch and keep going until you cross between the two red buoys while calling your race number to the timers. Then, join us for the after party! Food, fun, and frosty cold beverages await you at the finish line while you enjoy the awards presentations! The after party is free to the public. Lunch will be provided by Catfish Cabin (one lunch is included with event registration), and additional plates may be purchased during registration or on site for $15 each. In order to expedite awards for our out of town guests, timing will stop about 2 1/2 hours after the race begins.


The post-party celebrations begin with each rat pack bringing an item to place on the River Rat podium representing their team! Team photos are encouraged with the backdrop once your team has gathered. We will be giving out awards for boat division winners (1st, 2nd, and 3rd), Big Cheese Award, I Smell a Rat Award, Cheeseball Award, and the Speedy Gonazales Award. We also recognize the Paddler of the Year. Rat Packs will also be giving out their own CWAC awards to one member of their team that either won a challenge or some other prized honor among the rat pack! Finally, there will be a DANCE this year sponsored by the Bayou Bandits! We hope you are ready for the largest, craziest, and most fun paddle race in the State of Louisiana! It's about to get REAL!

Team Bayou Bandits Captain:  Tammy Jernigan at 

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