Holding period: July 28 or 29, 2018, depending on conditions
Register: March 1st, 2018
SUP: Solo (male & female), two-person relay team (male/mixed & female), three-person relay team (male/mixed & female)
Prone: Same as above
Board length categories: Anything up to 14′; unlimited
Surfski and outrigger welcome
WHAT’S A RELAY TEAM?
Two or three paddlers share an escort boat and a board. Paddlers jump in the water to switch, and can make exchanges whenever they want. This is a great way to participate if you want to share an escort boat, or if you’re not ready for a full 32 miles, but still want to take on the big one.
Register early to be sure you get a spot on the start line.
Entrants will be asked to submit some paddling history that demonstrates an ability to paddle at a pace of 8:30/km or faster for an extended period and an ability to paddle in rough water. Various athletic achievements will also be noted. This is not meant to (and likely won’t) deter entries, but to reinforce that this is a serious open-water crossing not to be taken lightly.
Entrants are also responsible for retaining an escort boat (one escort boat per paddler/relay team).
Evening before race – Check-in for paddlers, escort boat captains and support crew at Pier 61 Bar & Grill, Port Dalhouise
Race day: 5:30 am – Check-in/safety check begins at the start area
6:00 am – Sunrise
6:30 am – Escort boats should be loaded on the water
6:45 am – Racers meeting
7:00 am – Start
1:00 pm – First paddlers expected to finish
3:00 pm – Flexible cutoff time (could change based on conditions)
Food and awards to follow
The Lake Ontario Crossing will run from Port Dalhousie to Cherry Beach in Toronto. Air and water temperatures typically run around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Conditions can range from flat water to 15 kt winds and four-foot swells, with prevailing winds most often running from the SE/SW.
Port Dalhousie, in the heart of the Niagara region, offers the infrastructure necessary to start a big crossing. There is vibrant tourist area, large marina with docking facilities for escort boats, and a large sandy beach to start the race.
The Great Lakes are to be respected, and the variable nature of the conditions on Lake Ontario requires an alternate race course in the event that crossing is deemed unsafe. In such an event, the race will be run on a near-shore course (escort boats optional), at a length of roughly 20-30 miles (relay teams will be able to split the distance or switch to the solo race). While not a full “crossing”, the alternate course will rank up there in distance with the most respected endurance races on the East Coast, and will be set up to give paddlers a good taste of the open water. If a northerly wind blows all weekend, we will consider reversing the crossing to start in Toronto.
Marinas and yacht clubs on the Niagara side are a good place to look for boats. Fishing charters in the region have also provided support in the past. Power boats and powered sailboats are suitable, with a recommended hull length greater than 18 feet. Boat and captain should be able to handle open-water conditions up to 18 knots.
We will be maintaining a limited list of escort boat contacts, with first priority given to out-of-town paddlers.
Boat captains looking for more information can be directed to the escort boat page.
Charity support is allowed and even encouraged. Ausmosis Board Craft is in a partnership to donate a portion of sales to the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.
Follow the race in person, or online (@Niagara2Toronto on Facebook). See the photo page for past race coverage, and the YouTube channel for video coverage.
A recap of the 2017 crossing is available here.