Little Current’s Steve Arthurs shares ups and downs of 2019 kayak season

Steve Arthurs, with kayak in hand, centre, gets ready to launch in the Bruce Peninsula Suburu Duathlon this summer.

LITTLE CURRENT – It’s been a season of ups and downs for Little Current kayaker Steve Arthurs, who competed in five events this past summer and continues to make a name for himself on the North’s kayak circuit.

Mr. Arthurs began the season at the 2019 Sudbury Canoe Club Marathon at the end of June, placing fourth in the open kayak division.

“I got a branch stuck in my rudder half-way through,” Mr. Arthurs says. “When it happened I was neck-in-neck for second place. It happens, though,” he adds with a shrug and a smile.

“It’s a good race to start the season; to get your feet wet,” he adds of the Sudbury event.

In early August, Mr. Arthurs headed to the Bruce Peninsula Subaru Duathlon, participating in the 24K sprint which is a ‘paddle, bike, paddle’ event.

“I managed to squeeze into third at the end,” Mr. Arthurs shares. “I was four minutes slower than the year before,” he adds, noting that he lost to third place by that exact amount of time.

Mr. Arthurs has had some health concerns this season. A recurring bronchial infection has kept him from competing at his peak and for which he is seeking medical attention this fall.

On the weekend of August 24, Mr. Arthurs then headed to the Great Canadian Kayak Challenge in Timmins in what is arguably one of the largest competitions on the kayak circuit. There he competed in three races: the 10K plastic kayak, taking second place; the 6.5 short board, placing third; and the 6.5 long boat, where he took fifth place.

Mr. Arthurs has three boats he uses to race, which are needed on the competitive circuit.

On land, and locally, Mr. Arthurs also participated in Alex Anstice’s annual McLean’s Park Six-Hour Mountain Bike Relay.

“I can’t keep up with those guys,” he shares with a laugh. “Man, they’re fast.”

As for next year, Mr. Arthurs says his training is already well underway and he might even have his sights set on Manitoulin Brewing Company’s Manitoulin to Killarney race.

Mr. Arthurs gave a shout out to his sponsors: On the Rock Fitness Centre, NBS Auto, Terra Star Building Products, Manitoulin Fuels, Island Chiropractic, The Manitoulin Expositor, Orr’s Valu-Mart, Harbor Vue Marina and Manitoulin Wind and Wave.