THE DENNIE CANOE AND KAYAK RACE HIGHTLIGHTs
The race will take the format of the stage race, on Friday, August 19th and Saturday, August 20th, 2016. This will require that paddlers camp overnight and complete the course in two days, thus eliminating paddling through the night. Winners of the two-day, full-course race, will be determined by the shortest total time.
A one-day course for those wanting a less-demanding option will also be available for paddlers. The one-day race course will have racers begin on Friday, August 19th, at Spanish. They will run the second stage of the race, to the finish just outside Little Current.
Starts from both locations will be mass starts. There are no portages, but navigation through the thousands of islands that protect the route will be key. The route is a traditional Voyageur Route and should be attractive to Voyageur Canoe teams. Both legs are approximately 65 km in length.
The race course will follow a traditional route of the First Nations and Voyageurs, through the North Channel of Lake Huron. The race will begin in Blind River and finish on Manitoulin Island, which is touted as the “Largest Freshwater Island in the World”.
The first stage will begin at 9:00 am on Friday, August 19th, from the Blind River Marina. Paddlers will begin east into the larger waters of North Channel, passing South Passage and Turnbull Passage and along the shores of the Serpent River First Nation entering the protected waters of the Whalesback Channel. Paddlers will then continue east into the mouth of the Spanish River and finishing the first stage at the Spanish River Marina.
The second stage will begin at 8:00 am on Saturday, August 20th. Paddlers will continue east passing through Little Detroit and into the McBean Channel. They will continue east along the shore of the Spanish River First Nation passing such historical land marks as Forte La Cloche entering the protected Bay of Islands. Navigation will be a key factor here as the vast number of islands leaves paddlers with a variety of route options.
They will continue into the Swift Current/La Cloche Channel, which separates the Whitefish River First Nation and La Cloche Island. Highlights of this area are the significant First Nation landmarks of Dreamers Rock and the Bell Rocks. Paddlers will travel southwest, passing under the 100-year-old swing bridge, the only land connection between Manitoulin and the North Shore. Paddlers will then make their way to the finish line at Low Island Park, Little Current. Both the two-day and one-day race options will finish at the Low Island Park in the Town of Little Current.