Ooooh that’s fresh
The 47th annual Raisin River Canoe Race began early Sun., April 14, and featured approximately 200 canoes, kayaks and one paddleboard. The rapids at Lefebvre Rd. about 2 km east of St. Andrews West caused grief for a lot of the paddlers as seen here as a pair of canoers overturn into the drink. The outside temperature was around 10 C at the time of the race but the water temperature was just 7 C and the flow rate was approximately 1,300 fps. Participants in over 10 categories competed in the event that took on average between 2.5 and 4.5 hours to complete. The race spanned from St. Andrews West to Williamstown which is about 30 km. More pictures on page 9. Moore photo

ST. ANDREWS WEST – For 47 years the annual Raisin River Canoe Race has pitted man against the elements and this year’s event held on April 14 was no exception. The early morning sunshine warmed the hearts of organizers and participants alike as the registration process began at St. Andrews Catholic Church in St. Andrews West.

Awesome turnout
The Raisin River Conservation Authority was hoping for a good turnout at the Raisin River Race on Sun., April 14, and they were not disappointed as over 200 watercraft showed up. It was one of the best turnouts in the 47 years history of the event. The race began at 10:30 a.m. and three watercraft were launched in one minute intervals. Moore photo

Hosted by the Raisin Region Conservation Authority, the event is hailed as one of the longest canoe races in Eastern Ontario. Organizer Lissa Deslander told The Chesterville Record how the water was high, with a flow rate of 1,300 cubic feet/second which necessitated the closing of the Martintown dam resulting in all participants having to portage at that spot. Deslander went on to say that organizers expected the race would take approximately 2.5 hours to complete.

Registration began at approximately 8:30 a.m., with over 130 kayaks or canoes pre-registered. By the start of race time, organizers estimated the total number at approximately 200. Across County Road 18 at St. Andrews Church Hall, people were able to enjoy a full-course breakfast hosted by the St. Andrews Knights of Columbus.

Some of the winners of the Raisin River race included: Christopher Weber (Chelsea) and Pierre Lavictoire (Gatineau) winning the Pro Boats division with a time of 2:19:12 beating the previous record; Cody and Corey Van Loon (St. Andrews West) winning the adult and youth division with a time of 2:22:50; Gaetan Plourde (Ottawa) and Jeff Brainard winning the 17 foot open with a time of 2:20:06 also breaking the previous record; Wendy Bray Van Loon (St. Andrews West) and Tracey Bray Bercier (Moose Creek) winning the double kayaks with a time of 2:59:23. A full list of participants, winners and times can be found on the Raisin River Conservation Authority website at