Billie won. Stephanie Colburtle finished second.
And while local favorite Drexelina lost the Great Turtle Race to the Galapagos, no one questions her commitment to the preservation of her species: The leatherback dropped out partway through the 500-mile swim and returned to the coast of Costa Rica to lay eggs.
The other good news: The race, organized by Drexel University environmental scientist Jim Spotila (a.k.a. Dr. Turtle) to raise awareness and funds for turtle conservation, netted about $100,000 in sponsorships and donations. More than 40,000 Web users signed up for updates, and 200,000 visited the site, www.drexel.edu/turtlerace.
The race officially ended yesterday. In truth, it was won three days before.
Billie, sponsored by Offield Center for Billfish Studies of Oceanside, Calif., arrived at the Galapagos Islands at 6 a.m. Thursday.
In second place was Stephanie Colburtle. Her sponsor, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, complained bitterly on his late-night The Colbert Report, calling for investigation of Billie's supposed gender based on her name. (All the competitors were female.)
Meanwhile, Drexel University reported that Drexelina, having laid a pile of eggs in Costa Rica, had reversed course again and was heading for the Galapagos.