Ice Chips and Canoe Quips

Classic day for the Classic

Sunday marked the running of the 14th annual Mindemoya Classic as part of the Central Manitoulin Lions’ Club Homecoming Weekend. Despite numbers having dropped a bit this year the plus-70 participants were treated to a warm, sunny and calm day.

Despite the amazing of the accomplishments of the first place team many would argue that the talk of the day was the last place team. The five person Clouet-Ivan family that decided at the last minute to participate in the 5.5km run, 4km paddle and 13km cycle, triathlon. With Mom running to start things off, Dad paddled with his eldest son, all of eight-years-old. Finally the whole family, including four-year-old Daniella, completed the bike portion together to a great applause down at the government dock on Lake Mindemoya.

Taking the coveted fastest finish time this year was the Crazy Shenanigan squad with a super clocking of 1:13! The co-ed squad featured Amanda Kosmerly, Tamara Flannigan, Stewart Meikelham and Jenny Ryan who eclipsed the 4-person Relay division followed by team: Team Opa, powered by Heather Thompson, Ray Corbiere, Jim Boyd and Brian Doan (1:23). Taking the bronze accolades was Team Ramsay of Mathew Tsafaridis, Elaine Ramsay, Michael Niven and Tom Tsafaridis (1:27).

In the 4-person family division, Team Haner took the title once again with a great 1:21 time thanks to Stacey, Allen, Chris and Ben Haner. A close second went to The Burns Family Warriors consisting of Ryan, Dan, Larry and Morgan Burns (1:22). A very close third went to Zoe’s Team with the family of Steve Redmond, Zoe Redmond, Peter Ford and Matthew Redmond.

The two person relay division was won by the high school pair named (James Scott and Isaac Gosse) Pher. Get it? Go-Pher, Go-Pher! The team humorously, squandered being first in the water but would not let a simple thing like a canoe, half-full of water stop them from paddling along  instead of doing a quick baling job in knee deep water. In the end they did capture the division with an amazing time of 1:24. In Second were the Geezers (Colin Germond and Karl Skierszkan). Hats off to the fastest pair who were actually “unranked.” Team Kierra’s Kayak (Mike Banks and Alec Marquis) completed the race with Mike biking and running and Alec taking a kayak but to a super-fast: 1:18!

The Solo division needed participants through the whole 22km distance all on their own was won by Team Pylon (Denis Lefebvre) in only 1:21! Steve Arthurs took second in 1:28 and Matthew Graveline was in third at 1:31. Way to go guys!

The final division was the Pairs Endurance that was won by team: 007 featuring Greg and Joel Bond who ripped down the hill at 1:30:35. In a nearly photo finish second was the husband and wife pair of Sarah and Ben Quackenbush (1:30:38!) Close behind was team Reuterific (Island Jar’s Mike and Natasha Reuter) who clocked in at 1:32.

Once again, the Mindemoya Classic was able to donate to the Central Manitoulin Public School’s Outdoors Club who is in desperate need of new back packs for their annual three day backpacking hike through the Heaven’s Gate trail. The Mindemoya Classic also recently contributed to the replacement of the rotten roof with a new steel roof of the Adirondack shelter along the trail.

As always this huge organizational nightmare could not have occurred without some amazing volunteers such as David Johnson, Denise Leblanc, Mark Gibeault, Bill Cranston, Larry and Corinne Leblanc, Ben Haner, Liam and Hailey Leblanc. Thank you so, so very much!

The Dennie is back!

The second annual Dennie “Path of the Voyageurs” canoe and kayak race is slated for this coming August 21 to the 22! The two-day stage race was founded in Memory of OPP officer Dave Dennie. The Race begins near his former home detachment in Blind River and heads east to Spanish on the Friday. After a much needed night of recuperation after 45km of North Channel waters it starts all over again on Saturday with the final push to Little Current with the exciting finish at the Low Island beach. One might say how could a race with a route, somewhere north of 100km be exciting? I would have said the same thing but after two days of paddling the total time accumulated on Saturday came down to less than 30 seconds and too close to call anything more than a tie for the two, top Voyageur canoes.

The amazing and historical route is as beautiful as it is challenging and is not experienced by very many people under human powered vessels. If you are up for an adventure on the pathways of our ancestors you should give it a serious consideration! Visit the event website for more details at:

Crossing for a Cause!

This coming August 21, Michael McIsaac, a frequent Manitoulin visitor, is planning to accomplish one of the toughest physical challenges in the world, a long distance swim across Lake Ontario! He recently completed a 20km loop in Lake Manitou as a training session.

Michael will be attempting the traditional “South-to-North” 51km, crossing of Lake Ontario, beginning at Niagara-on-the-Lake and ending at Marilyn Bell Park in Toronto. This was the route used by 16-year-old Marilyn Bell on her historic successful crossing of Lake Ontario which occurred in 1954.

Michael is dedicating the swim to raise money for melanoma research and has created a super website to learn more about him and his cause. It features chances to win prizes for supporters and even an entertaining winter training session: not in a pool, outside, in a lake! Check it out at: Good luck Michael.

Firecracker 5K

Three local runners took part in the annual Firecracker 5K race in Walden on Canada Day. Congratulations to Mariette and Avery Sutherland who finished 5th and 2nd in their respective age groups and John Saftic who was 5th in his. Good job guys!

Ultimate Tuesdays

Don’t forget that every Tuesday at 7 pm there is a group that gets together to play Ultimate (Frisbee) down at Low Island in Little Current. It is a very eclectic and cordial collection of people from the 50ish to the Grade 5ish but everyone is given a chance to play at their own level. It is a lot of fun and usually goes to about 9 pm. You can search Ultimate hosted by Benjamin Quackenbush on Facebook for updates.

Equestrian obstacle course winners

The Honora Bay Riding Stable hosted their first annual obstacle course challenge and it attracted both on and off-Island horses and riders of all ages. The mounts had 15 minutes to make their way through a series or generally, horse terrifying trials. The horse and rider were each given a score on each obstacle and their combined tallies were compared for the ribbons. Congratulations to Emily Patterson who took top prize followed by Hailey Leblanc and Zoe Couillard, who was third.

A good sport is good for sports.