300-plus sign up for 51st edition of Raisin River Canoe Race

Paddlers and boats gather at the start line during last year's Raisin River Canoe Race.

SDG COUNTIES, Ontario - The Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) is looking forward to welcoming paddlers and spectators for the 51st annual Raisin River Canoe Race being held on Saturday, April 13, 2024.

“So far we have 319 paddlers pre-registered for the race,” said Lissa Deslandes, RRCA’s Canoe Race Coordinator. “It is amazing to see so many people participate each year.”

First held in 1973, the Raisin River Canoe Race is one of the longest in eastern Ontario, challenging hundreds of participants to paddle through a 30-kilometre racecourse from St. Andrews West in South Stormont to Williamstown in South Glengarry while being cheered on by enthusiastic shoreline supporters. 

“While flows on the Raisin River are currently slower than usual for this time of year due to early snowmelt, the recent snowstorm and forecasted rain this week may lead to increased flows on Race Day,” said Deslandes.

Paddlers and spectators are invited to fuel up with a hearty breakfast served by the Knights of Columbus from 7: to 11 a.m. at the St. Andrews Parish Hall, across from the starting line at St. Andrew’s Catholic School. The first boats head out at 10:30 a.m.

From 1 to 6 p.m., a dinner will be served by volunteers from St. Mary’s Community Centre at the Char-Lan Recreation Centre near the race’s finish line. An awards ceremony will be held at the centre at 4:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend.