For only the second time since 1973, the Raisin River Canoe Race has been cancelled. The 2020 edition was nixed due to COVID-19 precautions, following the recommendations of health officials.
The annual rite of spring, hosted by the Raisin Region Conservation Authority, typically takes place in April each year, when the spring water flow in the river is at its peak. This year, it had been slated for April 19. The 30 km run from St. Andrews West downstream to Williamstown traditionally sees well over 100 canoes and kayaks involved, with participants coming from across the region. Some paddlers come for the competition, striving for fast times and medals, while the majority are looking to complete the course without getting too wet and cold. Spills are common, especially at points where there are challenging rocks in the river and rapids. As well, the dam in Martintown is a special part of the race, with many paddlers opting to attempt to shoot it successfully, much to the delight of throngs of spectators who gather there to take in the action.
The last (and only other) cancellation, in 2010, was due to very low water conditions.
As of this posting, the RRCA website had not been updated with details, but more information should be available soon, along with online registration.
The race, which is open to canoes and kayaks, traditionally starts in St. Andrew’s West, on the grounds of St. Andrew’s School, running downstream through Martintown to Williamstown, a distance of approximately 30 km.
The annual Raisin River Canoe Race will take place Sunday, April 14, 2019, running 30+ km downstream from St. Andrew’s West through Martintown to Williamstown.
This is one of the highlights of the local sports calendar (as well as for my job), and once again I will be out shooting photos of the event.
You can check out my online pre-race story for The Glengarry Newsposted here. There is still time to register to participate, and spectators are encouraged to come out and cheer paddlers on along the route.
This year’s edition of the Raisin River Canoe Race is set to take place Sunday, April 15, running the usual course from St. Andrews West, downstream through Martintown to Williamstown. Unfortunately for participants and spectators alike, the weather is looking decidedly un-spring-like.
I have a story in this week’s edition of The Glengarry News to help you get ready, and as usual, I will be on the river shooting photos of the action.