Cruising Canada’s French River
26/09/2012 - 15:48:00
Recreational rowers from around the world immersed themselves in the surroundings of Canada’s French River Delta on the second FISA World Rowing Tour for 2012.
The aptly named Wilderness Tour took in the French River Delta, the West Arm of Lake Nipissing and finished off with a final day row on Lake Ramsey in downtown Sudbury, Ontario.
The tour is designed to combine fun, fitness and nature and it attracts rowers of all ages and many nationalities. For this Tour, 60 participants came from 12 countries, mainly from Europe, with the biggest number from the Netherlands.
Inez Stockmann of the Netherlands was one of the participants and she told the Sudbury Northern Life, “I come from a very crowded land. (Here) you have space, wilderness, silence, clean water, trees and clean air.”
Using stable touring, coxed quadruple sculls the Tour went on for eight days with the biggest rowing day covering 39.4km and plenty of time for sightseeing. The boats for the Tour were supplied by the local organisers who gathered the boats from various clubs. Participants swapped between different boats and also took turns coxing, as has become tradition on rowing tours.
Along the way participants spotted the occasional loon and deer. “They were disappointed not to have seen bears,” says organiser Donna Speigel, but were lucky to meet very few other craft on the river, just the safety boats that followed the rowers.
Speigel praised the helpers, some of whom drove the boats for up to eight hours to bring them to Sudbury, “We had three separate locales and so there were several instances of derigging, loading, driving to the next waterway, unloading and rigging again.”
Canada last hosted a FISA Tour ten years ago and nine of the rowers returned for this year’s tour. For one participant, Christina Kienst of Switzerland this was on her fourth FISA World Rowing Tour.
FISA World Rowing Tours have been going since 1971 as an annual event. The next Tour will be held in Ireland in June 2013. See here for details.
View a commemorative video of the Canadian Tour here.