Ice Chips & Canoe Quips

Kayaking athlete and entrepreneur!

Lucas Gilpin (frequent Manitoulin visitor with tons of local family) recently competed with the Sudbury Canoe and Kayak Club at the kayaking provincial championships. The event was held in Ottawa at the Rideau Canoe Club and the now 17-year-old is really a veteran around the double-bladed racing crews. He is has a lot of experience in K1, K2 and K4 and competed in all three in the regatta.

Lucas was not pleased with his solo K1 races and ended up placing 10th in the province, knowing he could have been higher based on those finishing around him. In his K2 event, he and his partner finished in fourth. He wonders about having to use a heavy, club kayak to train in after his personal boat was damaged. At his level, perfect technique is key and if you can’t get your rhythm and stroke correct it messes with your muscle memory and your psyche. 

When asked how the damage was caused, Lucas was forthcoming (it is a cringe-worthy question to anyone with some sort of water-craft). Interestingly, he was on the water in his Kayak Day Camp when a young paddler was getting in a danger area and he spun to attend and hit some rocks. That sound is just heartbreaking, isn’t it?

When inquiring further about the camp it turns out that he and a friend run the Ready for Regatta kayaking camp where they teach kids the basics about competitive sprint kayaking. They go through the basics, then technique and everything someone needs to know to get into the sport. Congratulations, Lucas!

Going swimmingly in Assiginack

Assiginack has had an increased number of kids signed up for their swimming lessons. This makes Assiginack events coordinator Jackie White pleased. “We are excited to teach our youth how to swim and how to be safe around water, which is so important living on Manitoulin.”

Thanks from all of us to instructors Katie Chapman, Brooke Gibeault and Jackie White.

In other Manitowaning events, don’t forget about the alumni-fastball game this Friday at the ballfield as well as the youth tournament going all weekend. For more information visit:

Pickleball Place!

Last week, Bud and Pierrette Hebner (Level 2 pickleball referees/trainers) completed a second Referee 1 Training Clinic. This recent group brings the total of referee clinic participants this summer to 10. In their first clinic there were participants from the Manitoulin, Espanola and North Bay Pickleball Clubs. The half day classroom session will be followed by developing a thorough knowledge of the Pickleball Official Rulebook and the Referee Handbook. After that, participants are required to complete online tests, then comes the field practices. These individuals will practice refereeing games and will receive mentoring as they practice.

Pickleball Canada is responsible for the design and execution of this certification program. This may seem like quite an onerous task for the participants and it is, however President George extolls the benefits for club members and broader organization. “Sanctioned tournaments would not happen without certified referees. As in any sport players are better equipped to play the game if they know the rules. As part of our Manitoulin play schedule we have introduced officiated games during our Wednesday (round robin) play.” The feedback from players has been very positive and the general observation is that the level of play has gone up. Congratulations to all those involved!

A friendly reminder to any interested adult that their “Introduction to Pickleball sessions” continue on Tuesday nights from 6-8 pm at the outdoor pickleball/tennis courts behind the NEMI arena. Get out and play!

Caught being active!

Landon Hare is not your typical teen. He did not stop being active when MSS school sports finished. He is self-motivated enough to keep himself fit and healthy throughout the summer. Sometimes, when you are ‘not feeling it’ on a certain day, you might have a running partner or teammate give you a call to kickstart you. Having the inner strength to be your own kick-starter is very valuable.

Landon, as he did last year, has entered the MTN OPS Savage division challenge of 25km per day for five days! He started on stifling hot Monday. Due to work commitments, he will often have to split his day into two workouts; no less, maybe more difficult! 25km done, just 100 to go, Landon, sorry! Keep up the good work, Landon.

A good sport is good for sports.