Toronto, ON—A record field is set for the Lake Ontario Crossing Paddleboard Race, to be held on July 29th, 2018.
Paddlers will depart from Lakeside Park in Port Dalhousie, ON at 7:00 am, and take on a 5-to-8 hour crossing that will finish at the Toronto Windsurfing Club, adjacent to Cherry Beach in Toronto.
A full recap of last year’s event, and details about this year’s race, are available here.
Ambitious field is set
After months of training and logistical preparation, the field has been set at 29 paddlers: Nine solo paddlers, four 2-person relay teams and four 3-person relay teams. Each solo paddler and relay team will have the support of a dedicated escort boat. Relay paddlers will jump off their boat to make mid-lake exchanges throughout the crossing.
The start line will have representation from Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Florida.
The field includes Team Canada members from each of the past two ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships, and paddlers that have competed in the Molokai2Oahu World Championships, Carolina Cup and Ontario SUP Series events.
Notably, three solo female paddlers will attempt to be the first woman to cross Lake Ontario on a paddleboard under formal conditions. The men will be looking to establish a new record time in 2018, while Gander Tawaststjerna will be pushing for an unprecedented third solo crossing.
Paddlers will not only be racing each other, but also gunning for the accomplishment of crossing an historic body of water.
The Lake Ontario Crossing Paddleboard Race is an open-water endurance paddling race. The highly-anticipated 32-mile, point-to-point race is run in the spirit of some of the world’s most prestigious races.
Lake Ontario crossings of any variety are steeped in history after Marilyn Bell’s historic 1954 swim.
Although this is a fresh-water event, a Lake Ontario crossing is a big and exposed paddle not to be taken lightly. At the midpoint of the crossing, paddlers are 20km from land and without cell phone coverage for three hours. Weather on the Great Lakes is highly variable, often changing from calm winds to gale-force conditions in minutes. Paddlers must train and mentally prepare for any mix of conditions. It is a demanding physical and mental test for those ready to take on the open waters of Lake Ontario.