100th birthday canoe race in July

How many paddle strokes does it take to travel from Isle Pierre to Fort George Park?

That's up to a bunch of two-person teams in canoes and kayaks to determine when they take part in the Northern Hardware Prince George Centennial Canoe Race on Sunday, July 12.

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The 67-kilometre race will follow a segment of the now-defunct Northwest Brigade canoe race. The Two Rivers Canoe Club is organizing the race to help the city celebrate its 100th birthday.

"We're looking for paddlers and kayakers, and we're going to have voyageur canoes," said Pat Turner, president of the Two Rivers Canoe Club.

"We're also trying to engage the First Nations community. They're a huge component, historically, with Alexander Mackenzie and Simon Fraser coming through here (as late-18th century, early-19th century explorers). They wouldn't have found anything without the First Nations. We've been in touch with Carrier Sekani and we're trying to get them heavily involved, especially the youth, and that's a work in progress."

Race participants can also choose a 35km route from Miworth to Prince George. There will be a solo race on Saturday, July 11.

Next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. the Two Rivers Canoe Club will meet at the Cottonwood Island canoe launch site to register members. Some of the club members will bring their boats and if weather allows they will test the waters of the adjacent Nechako River for a short training session.

The club will host regular paddling practice on Tuesday evenings, leading up to the big race in July. For more information contact Turner at spdturner@yahoo.ca.

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