HMCS Montcalm’s crew competes in ice canoe race

The HMCS Montcalm ice canoe team
The HMCS Montcalm ice canoe team participated in the canoe race at the 64th Carnaval de Québec on February 4. Photo: Corporal Nédia Coutinho

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By Naval Cadet Jill Marcoux – Adsum

The Canadian Armed Forces proudly participated in the 64th Carnaval de Québec, with the HMCS Montcalm ice canoe team giving it their all in the canoe race on February 4.

Nearly 60 teams competed in crossing the St. Lawrence River between the Louise Basin in Quebec City and the Paquet Quay in Lévis. This wasn’t the HMCS Montcalm team’s first race. For members of the Naval Reserve, it is an occasion to challenge themselves, and proudly wear the colors of their unit in a coveted race.

Master Seaman Roberts was in his first race with the team. “I am very proud to have joined the team this year, knowing that we barely had the right number of athletes available to participate. When I knew we had a team, I volunteered to become a boat captain and lead the training,” he said.

Lieutenant-Commander Eric Bolduc, vice-president of the organizing committee of the ice canoe race, noted that it is his ninth year participating. “I was involved for two years as a technical advisor for the ice canoe race and it’s already three years now that I’ve been vice-president on the committee. I’m also involved in a civilian team now, as I have given my place to new recruits on the HMCS Montcalm team. I even did the race five years in a row with HMCS Montcalm, and I’m proud of that!”

Ice canoeing is an extreme sport that is most often practiced under arduous conditions. When it isn’t the wind or the current, it’s the visibility that gives participants grief. The Carnaval de Québec race is known for its high difficulty, and extensive training is essential for canoeists who want to participate.

There was a festive atmosphere on race day, thanks to the encouragement of hundreds of spectators who didn’t want to miss any of this impressive race. The HMCS Montcalm team took eighth place out of 24 teams in their category.

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  • The HMCS Montcalm ice canoe team
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