Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

View from the bow seat

It was with great pleasure that I had a chance to be in the Current to Killarney Canoe Fest race this past Saturday. The canoe-ish event, which has not been able to run since its 2019 inaugural iteration, took place on Saturday under threatening wind forecasts. Organizers from Manitoulin Brewing Company were waiting with bated breath until a half hour before the 8 am mass start before deciding that the race would happen.

Their no-go wind speed was 25 kilometers per hour at race time and it was touch and go at the Spider Bay Marina on Saturday morning. With the wind whipping up the North Channel so much so that there were whitecaps waiting for their decision. As it turned out the race was on and despite the crazy winds at least they would be behind the paddlers.

The 16 boats queued up on the start line, readying themselves to turn east for their 34 kilometre wavy challenge across the traditional trading route. In 2019 the race was nearly in jeopardy because of crazy winds but from the east, a super nasty headwind. This time, with following seas, there were different difficulties but they were just faster! In fact, finishing times were around one to two hours faster!

The huge tailwind sped things up but there were times (like every seventh wave) when we would put our paddle down and there was no water to pull against thanks to the three foot swells. Amazingly, there was not a single dunking, not that we all were dry!

One of the inspiring teams were the Thunder Sisters who were based out of Birch Island. The team was well trained and handled the waves with expertise. Congratulations to members including: Hunter Shawanda, Anita McGregor, Toni Kitchimokman, Kiana Peltier, Caitlin Pitawanakwat, Crystal Clark-McGregor, Melanie Manitowabi, Kathleen Megwanebi, Sydney Megwanebi, KC Megwanebi, Jo-anne Esquimaux, Nala Toulouse, Taylor McGregor and Angela Vaillancourt.

Duathlon doer!

Lorrilee McGregor has been one of the most active participants in all manners of sporting events, all over Ontario, for the last number of years. Lorrilee who is a super-versatile athlete, is not nervous to try anything for fitness. For instance a couple of weeks ago she participated in the Guelph Lake Duathlon and she came third in her age group. She had planned on doing the triathlon but it was unseasonably cool and windy and was still up for the adjusted format. Way to go Lorrilee, keep on keeping on!

A good sport is good for sports.