Race day awoke to fog and a welcome coolness in the air, only to be replaced by sunny skys with 33 + degree temperatures by the 11:00 race time. The Heat Wave Continues!! Fortunately all the participants were experienced in the ways of racing and came prepared with on board drink systems. The importance of staying hydrated can never be over emphasized.
The Nictaux provides for one of the more exciting starts as the racers sprint 100 meters across a small pond to enter a narrow (2 boat lengths) canal. From here they race up the canal 4 km to the open lake where, depending upon class , 4 km loops of the lake are completed followed by a final 4 km back down the canal to the Finish Line. The first boat to the canal has a decided advantage!
This years start was no exception as one bow man broke a graphite paddle with his first powerful stroke while a nearby proboat upset in the commotion. The team of Gillies and Fraser made it to the canal first. The next 4 km saw much jostling for position as experienced crews hopped on side and stern waves looking for some reprieve to the turbulence generated within the narrow steep walled canal. By the lake Archibald and Marien, Nova Scotia`s entry to the upcoming La Classique, assumed the dominant position.
The loops of the lake provided for further strategy as the teams negotiated the bouy turns and dealt with the heat and distance. This is the long grind part of the race as the C2 Pro Classes complete 12 km on the lake, the C1 boats 8km and the Stock and Rec classes 4km.
The race results tell the tale of the days exploits, but do not begin to tell the stories that were exchanged at the post race BBQ.
The determination, perseverance and good sportsmanship exhibited by all is a credit to the sport and not to be excluded from the accolades we must praise the Annapolis Valley Ground Search and Rescue whom provided the rescue boat, registration facilities and logistical personnell. All proceeds from this race go to the AVGSR. Special thanks also go to John and Christine Skaling for the race organization.