Ice Canoeing

Ice Canoeing, as evident from its name, is a sport which involves riding a canoe on an ice covered course. The use of canoes as a means of transportation between the shores and islands of Saint Lawrence River, led the way for a unique sport to be developed out of it.

The canoes were made of wood in the past, but of late, fiberglass materials are used. The length of the canoes have to be between 20 and 28 feet 2 inches. Boats are required to contain 100 liters of flotation material. Athletes wear shoes that have bolts screwed to the bottom to aid in traction while on the ice.

Ice canoeing is a team sport in which a five-member crew complete a course, in which riders have to push their canoe on the frozen parts of the river, and row it under currents.

There are six major ice canoeing races conduced every year. The biggest and the most popular of them all is the le Grand Défi des Glaces, conducted as a part of the annual Quebec Winter Carnival. The race, run through powerful currents, huge chunks of ice, and cold water, sees participation from more than 40 teams.

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