Record water flow for Raisin River Canoe Race

In this April 2015, file photo, many participants would have been happy to see this sign in Williamstown. The 45th edition of the Raising River Canoe Race saw record times set for the river trek from St. Andrews West to Williamstown. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston, File)

ST. ANDREWS WEST – Participants at the Raisin River Canoe Race were dealing with some fast flowing water – the fastest it’s been in seven years.

Phil Barnes with the Raisin Region Conservation Authority said the water was rushing Sunday at 75 cubic meters per second (2,600 cubic feet per second).

That was over four times the flow from last year and twice as much as the previous high in 2000 (41 cubic meters a second).

With all that rushing water, 352 paddlers in 195 boats and kayaks braved the elements for the 45th edition of the race from St. Andrews to Williamstown.

There were a couple of changes – the start line was moved downstream to avoid the whitewater at Devil’s Chute and participants had to portage 400 meters at Martintown because the dam was closed.

It still meant a record finish for Dan Mallet from Chelsea, Que and Pierre Brault from Gatineau, Que. The duo crossed the finish line in 1:37:10.

Barnes said it may be the fastest time every clocked for the event. The average was 2:35 – a winning time for any other year.

You can check out all the results here.

Video courtesy Cameron Forrester