Canadian sailors to participate in annual canoe race in Quebec City

QUEBEC CITY, Feb. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - Seven sailors from Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ville de Quebec based in Halifax are in Quebec City to train for the city's annual canoe race on February 5-7, 2010, a part of the city's winter carnival.

The canoe race re-enacts a time before bridges linked Levis to Quebec City when boatmen ferried mail and passengers between the two cities by half paddling, half dragging large wooden canoes across the St. Lawrence River's frozen surface. This is the 55th annual competition, crossing the St. Lawrence River from Quebec City to Levis over a distance of 3.2 km.

Ville de Quebec's team will be using a fibreglass canoe, and hope to beat last year's time of one hour and forty minutes. Coached by Lt(N) Eric Bolduc, 7 crewmembers will first take part in a training session in the Louise Basin at the Old Port. The team includes Lt(N) Nick Buxton, Lt(N) Stephen MacLean, LS Guillaume Mercier, LS Alexandre Tremblay, MS Colin Schnare, MS Eric Gauthier and AB Dufour.

"This is an annual event that the ship's company look forward to every year," said Commander Luc Cassivi, Commanding Officer of HMCS Ville de Quebec. "It is an opportunity for the crew to interact and strengthen the ties between their namesake city and it gives the people of Quebec the chance to better know the sailors that sail on the ship named after their city."

HMCS Ville de Quebec recently completed a Great Lakes cruise when the ship visited 7 ports in the province of Quebec and hosted over 12,000 visitors on board.

HMCS Ville de Quebec is a HALIFAX class frigate, designed and built in Levis, Quebec. Modern and well-equipped, these frigates are designed to act independently or as part of a larger force. These long-range multiple-role warships are the workhorses of the fleet. The ship's company are largely French-speaking and several of them are from the area of Quebec City. The insignia and motto of HMCS Ville de Quebec are the same as those of its namesake city. The rue de Tresor extension in Old Quebec is depicted in a corridor on board HMCS Ville de Quebec and the wardroom is named Chateau Frontenac. While at sea, the officers of HMCS Ville de Quebec wear the carnival arrowhead sash with their mess dress.

The carnival's mascot, Bonhomme, has been named honorary captain of the ship.

SOURCE Canadian Navy

For further information: For further information: NOTE TO EDITORS: Media wishing to speak crewmembers from HMCS Ville de Quebec who are participating in the canoe race can contact: Lt(N) Jocelyn laroche, (418) 694-5560, ext 5369

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