RRCA’s annual Raisin River Canoe Race goes ahead April 14

Above, participants in the 2019 edition of the RRCA Raisin River Canoe Race. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

ST. ANDREWS WEST — The Raisin Region Conservation Authority’s (RRCA) Annual Raisin River Canoe Race is set for April 14. For the past 47 years, the Race has been a rite of spring where 300 paddlers and racers compete with hundreds of locals cheering them on from the shorelines.

The Raisin River Canoe Race is one of the longest canoe races in Eastern Ontario. First started in 1973, the 30 km course runs from St. Andrews West to Williamstown. The race is always held during the spring melt when water levels are high and flows are favourable for paddlers.

“The Canoe Race meanders through agriculture land, villages, rapids and forested land giving participants a first-class seat to the natural beauty of the Raisin River and our region,” says RRCA’s Race Coordinator, Lissa Deslandes.

Racers can register online until April 11 at a discounted rate or on-site on April 14. A pre-race breakfast is taking place from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the St. Andrews Parish Hall hosted by the St. Andrews Knights of Columbus. The official race begins at 10:30 a.m. by St. Andrews Catholic School. Following the race, there will be a dinner hosted by the St. Mary’s Community Centre at the Char-Lan Recreation Centre. Racers are encouraged to visit rrca.on.ca and follow the RRCA on Facebook for additional race information and updates.  

“There is a Race category for all ages and skill-level, mixed teams and mixed ages.  A new category this year is for best combined time for the Jock River Race competitors and the Raisin River Race competitors.  We have many racers that participate in both Eastern Ontario canoe races as they typically occur the same weekend,” added Deslandes.

Thanks to the support from many local organizations, such as the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Regional Tourism Grant Program, our title sponsors (Emard Brothers Lumber and Goodman Air Conditioning and Heating), and the Race Safety Committee (South Glengarry and South Stormont Fire Departments, St. John Ambulance, Amateur Radio Emergency services, OPP and OPP Auxiliaries), we are able to coordinate a successful race year after year.

Visit rrca.on.ca to pre-register. For more information, contact Lissa Deslandes, Raisin River Canoe Race Coordinator, (613) 938-3611 ext. 237, Lissa.Deslandes@rrca.on.ca.

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