110 paddlers in North Bay to race in the Mattawa River Canoe Race

(North Bay, July 24, 2019)  One hundred and ten paddlers in 68 canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards will be leaving Olmsted Beach in the early morning of  Saturday, July 27 in the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority’s 43rd Annual Mattawa River Canoe Race.

“We have paddlers from Southern Ontario, Ottawa area, Quebec, BC and even a paddler from Cote D’Ivoire, Africa”, said race coordinator Paula Loranger.  “Since a good percentage of paddlers come from across the province, they will be staying in the community throughout the weekend”.

The canoe, kayak and stand up paddlers in 13 categories will trace the historic route of the Voyageurs, making their way through lakes, rivers, fast-moving water and up to 12 portages from Olmsted Beach on Trout Lake to Mattawa Island Conservation Area, passing through Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park.

“With the lack of rain, water levels may be lower than usual in the rapids.  Most likely we’ll see a lot more portaging and slower finishing times this year,” added Loranger.

The first flight of paddlers leaves Olmsted Beach at 7:30 am Saturday, with categories leaving every 15 mins.  The final paddlers head off at 8:15 am.  The public is welcome to attend and cheer on the paddlers.

“We’ve had paddlers of all ages participate in the race from 6 years old in the 13 km race to 78 in the 64 km with some participating for 20, 25 even 30 years.  Whether paddling 64 or 13 km in a canoe, kayak, or stand up paddle board, in a competitive or recreational category, the race has something for everyone,” added Loranger.

Families and youth looking for a taste of the Mattawa River Canoe Race can register for the 13 km portion of the race until July 27.  Registrations for the 64km leg of the race closed July 14.

“At 13 km, the family and youth races are perfect opportunities for younger paddlers to experience the thrill of the race and the history of the area,” she added.

The family and youth race participants can register Friday July 26 from 5:30pm-8:30pm at Olmsted Beach or until 11:30 am at the race registration tent in Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park on July 27.  The 13 km race starts at 12 noon. 

Race sponsors include BDO-North Bay, Redpath Canada Limited, Bay Distributors, Slingchoker-North Bay, Sugar Daddy Cupcakes & Catering, See More Graphics, Canadore College, Giesler Boats, Jack Lockhart Art Gallery, Clermont Duvall Art Gallery, Town of Mattawa, City of North Bay and other prize sponsors and donors.  Proceeds support NBMCA’s stewardship and outreach programs.

The North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority was founded in 1972 by the Province of Ontario and its 10 member municipalities. A non-profit organization, the NBMCA works closely with the public to balance human needs with environmental needs throughout the region’s watershed. The NBMCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities who are members of Conservation Ontario.

You can follow NBMCA on facebook.com/NBMCA and twitter @theNBMCA

For more information, contact:   

Paula Loranger, Community Relations Coordinator               (705) 474-5420 ext. 2002
Sue Buckle, Manager, Communications & Outreach              (705) 474-5420 ext. 2010