(TORONTO) - Forty paddlers and a ten-man crew of volunteers will set out from Niagara on the Lake to paddle fifty-two (52) kilometres to Toronto Saturday morning.
Participating crews hail from Pickering, Scarborough, Etobicoke, and Mississauga. Crews of 6 or 2 will paddle Outrigger Canoe, and are expected to take between 5 and 6 hours to complete the race. This will be the first-ever crossing of Lake Ontario in a 2-person Outrigger Canoe.
The race, inspired by the outrigger races of Hawaii, is a small fundraiser and public awareness event hosted by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and the Great Lakes Outrigger Canoe Club. Waterkeeper is an environmental justice group working to restore water quality in Lake Ontario.
The Lake Race will start at 7:30 am at Queen's Royal Gazebo, Niagara on the Lake. It is expected to wrap up at the Ontario Place breakwall between 12:30 and 2 pm, weather dependant.
"Waterkeeper supports everyone who lives, works, and plays on Lake Ontario. These paddlers are some of the most passionate water-users on the lake, and we are proud to work with them," says Mark Mattson, President & Waterkeeper with Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.
To generate awareness for water quality in Lake Ontario, Waterkeeper will take water samples across the lake and at the home-club of each participating crew. Ontario?s Ministry of Environment will assist with analytical testing of the water samples however due to the recent blackout their laboratories have cut power useage for all but emergency testing. Waterkeeper and the MOE will complete the water quality testing as soon a power supplies return to normal in the GTA.
Outriggers originated in Polynesia and are characterized by the floating counterbalance (Ama) attached to the side of the canoe.
For more information, visit www.waterkeeper.ca or contact:
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper
Great Lakes Outrigger Canoe Club