Sydenham River race moved to May


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A combination of weather and gathering restriction obstacles has kept a decades-old river race aground for four years, conservation authority officials say.

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“The last two obviously because of COVID, but in previous years the water levels were too high,” St. Clair River Conservation Authority spokeswoman Donna Blue said.

So, in a bid to increase the likelihood of good conditions, the 49th year of the Sydenham River Canoe and Kayak Race has been moved to May 1 from its usual date in April, she said. .

“In the past they’ve done it in snow and rain and everything,” she said, “so I think everyone was really supportive of us pushing it back.”

The Ontario Marathon Canoe and Kayak Racers Association-recognized event, which typically attracts 60 to 100 paddlers and raises a few thousand dollars for conservation education programs, features 11 classes and three race lengths, said Blue.

“It’s a great event for anyone with paddling experience,” she said.

Participants must wear personal flotation devices or approved life jackets, and need their own canoe or kayak equipped with a whistle, bailer and 50 feet of rope, agency officials said. protection of nature in a press release.

The start and finish locations of the Sydenham River Canoe and Kayak Race. The start line is located at Mosside Line (42° 44′ 00.80″ N, 81° 55′ 50.15″ W) with the finish line located at Shetland Conservation Area (42° 42′ 34.72″ N, 81° 58′ 26.40″W). (Handout) jpg, SO

Mosside Line, just west of County Road 79, is the start line, and there is a 10-11 a.m. shuttle service between there and the finish at Shetland Conservation Area during the preparation period.

Races start at 11:20 a.m.

Registration costs $11.90 at and closes at noon on April 28, Blue said.

A substitute St. Clair Challenge Last summer, which encouraged paddlers, hikers, cyclists and runners to take on distance challenges and collect pledges, did not attract many participants or raise as much money as hoped , Blue said.

The number of participants and dollars raised was not immediately available.

The conservation authority will see how the race in May this year goes before considering making the later date of the event permanent, Blue said.

“I think it’s an event that people really enjoy,” she explained why the conservation authority offers the river race, noting that the marathon running association is helpful for people who are members.

“But also just an opportunity to get on the river – experience it, enjoy it,” Blue said.

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