Despite the progress in the clean up of the oil spill, several race directors of triathlons have continued to keep a watchful eye on the spill and its possible effect on fall triathlons.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill has affected all aspects of life along the Gulf of Mexico shoreline in the Florida Panhandle, but so far triathlon in the Sunshine State has remained unaffected.
But with the massive oil slick moving slowly toward other parts of Florida, triathlon race directors from Panama City to Key West are keeping a watchful eye on developments, even with the encouraging news that BP has capped the wellhead that had gushed oil into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly three months.
There remains a risk that a significant shift in pressure could create a new leak on the sea floor. The drilling of relief wells to permanently close the well continues.
There’s also the existing oil, which has washed up along hundreds of miles of shoreline in Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle. A hurricane or tropical storm could push the massive oil slick inland or further into the Loop Current, a warm ocean current in the Gulf of Mexico that loops west and south before exiting to the east through the Florida Straits.
For now, however, no races have been canceled along the Panhandle or anywhere else in Florida.