MONTREAL, Feb. 25, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The first edition of the Ice Canoe Challenge, presented by the Old Port of Montréal in co-operation with Héritage Maritime Canada, was held on Saturday, February 23, at the Clock Tower Quay. Ice canoe races on the St. Lawrence have returned to Montréal in style, after a 20-year absence, offering a breathtaking show for the 7,000 people who turned out to cheer the competitors on.
Thousands of spctators of all ages flocked to the Old Port to encourage these exceptional athletes from all over Quebec. "The enthusiasm for this event just goes to show how important it is to develop winter tourism in Montréal," said David Jobin, Director of Programming for the Old Port. "The Ice Canoe Challenge is truly a unique event, giving Montrealers a chance to reconnect with their river, their Old Port and the district around it."
All 37 participating teams paddled and pushed their hearts out, but in the end it was the Château Frontenac-Le Soleil team that took first place in the Men's Élite class, while Groupe Voyages Québec was the Women's Élite winner; MVC Ocean Inc. grabbed top honours in the Sport class. The three teams collected over $10,000 in prizes.
"The Montréal race is the most demanding on the whole circuit, as the Sainte-Marie current is really strong between the Clock Tower Quay and Jean Drapeau Park. It makes for a thrilling event, for canoeists and spectators alike," explained Simon Lebrun, President of Héritage Maritime Canada. "We are very proud that this first edition of the Ice Canoe Challenge, held in close co-operation with the Old Port of Montréal, was such a success. I can already tell you that the event will be back next year, and might even be spread out over two days."
The Old Port wishes to thank its main partner, the Government of Canada, and acknowledges the support of its partners TELUS, Sleeman, Coca-Cola, ESKA, and Red Bull.
Héritage Maritime Canada thanks the Circuit Québécois de Canot à Glace, the Montreal Port Authority and the Société du Parc Jean-Drapeau.
Photos and video available: http://www.oldportofmontreal.com/media/DefiCanotAGlace/
The Circuit québécois de canots à glace website: http://www.canotaglace.com
SOURCE: Old Port of Montréal
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Felipe del Pozo