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5 essential things you need to know about the Bota Bota Montreal ice canoe challenge

With Simon Lebrun

What are the origins of the sport?
The origins of the ice canoes go back to the 17th century. At the time, they were the only means to cross the Saint Lawrence River during the winter months and their design was specifically made to cope with the difficult conditions encountered. With the advent of steamships, this type of boat was no longer needed for transportation but hundreds of active canoers decided they would carry on the tradition and began organizing races to keep the heritage alive.

What’s so special about the Montreal race?
The race is in the heart of the Old Port which is an attraction in itself. Add an ice canoe event to the whole scene and you get a great show! Our course offers proximity to the boats like no other race on the circuit.

Where is the best spot to watch the race?
We recommend five locations to watch the races: The Clock Tower dock is the main venue with a live commentary, food and free activities. Alexandra Basin in the Old Port is also a great spot, with a hot chocolate stand and live ice sculpture. We also suggest the Cité-du-Havre Park, Saint Helen Island (Parc Jean-Drapeau) or the Bota Bota spa for a warm and cosy seat to see the action. Take a look at the map on our website to find the best spot for you.

What’s new in this year’s race?
For the first time in the history of the sport, we are broadcasting the race live on the internet. Four cameras will cover the race and one camera will be broadcasting live from onboard one of the boats. Fans and extreme sport enthusiasts will be able to watch the race from their phones, tablets or computers from our website: www.deficanotaglace.ca. Unheard of!

Why organize an ice canoe race in Montreal?
Because we love our city, we love the Saint Lawrence and this sport is a great part of our heritage so it simply needed to be done.

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