« Everybody was happy, » said Dominic Côté, one of the organizers of the event.
The Alfred and Plantagenet Kayak/Canoe Race was a welcome addition to Canada Day events when the fire department launched the project several years ago. The pandemic put the event into dry dock for the past two years. The relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings has allowed the event to cast off again.
Last Friday morning on Canada Day 40 canoes and kayaks, both single- and two-person vessels, set out in groups of four every two minutes from the Treadwell Boat Launch. Participants paddled 11 kilometres down the Ottawa River to dock at the Lefaivre Marina.
Average time for the journey was about an hour and a half, but Côté noted that a few of more expert paddlers made the trip in less than an hour.
This year’s event featured both professional and recreation divisions for participants. Some entrants from Québec travelled down from the Gatineau region to take part or came up from the Vaudreuil area.