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Interview with Bota Bota – La Relève team

1-When did you bring together the Bota Bota – la Relève team?

We founded Bota Bota – la Relève team in 2012. It was quite a challenge for a group of women who had no training whatsoever with respect to ice canoe! We’re in our second year as a team and have every intention of keeping the team going!

2-Last year, in your first year on the circuit, you won the “Canot d’Or” award. Tell us about this prize.

Bota Bota la relève received a lot of attention by participating in the Coupe des glaces and this was when our team members truly began their careers as canoeists! All members of the Coupe des glaces are invited to vote for the “Canot d’Or” award, which commends a team for their stand out performance. We can only assume that the other teams were able to see how profound our enthusiasm is for the sport… and it will be for years to come! What perhaps distinguished us from other crews is our desire. We believe, as five young students with little knowledge in this particular sport that we have achieved much more than athletic performance as a new team in the circuit!

3. What is your goal on the circuit this year, and what will you do to ensure you achieve it?

More confidence in ourselves!
We must admit that last year we allowed experienced teams to pass us on the course so we could follow their route … it’s an accepted strategy for a new team on the circuit.
This year, we won’t be overtaken! If a boat wants to pass us, they’ll have to work hard to get there.
Our goal? Determination and ownership of our decisions. Being confident that our team can achieve the results it desires!
Specifically, we’d like to make it to the Coupe des glaces podium. Some say it may be ambitious for a team with so little experience … It’s true that with many strong teams this year, it would be a great achievement! This is precisely what motivates us. To achieve this goal, we are making the most of every moment we can spend together to improve ourselves and we are working towards becoming a more efficient team. One of the strengths of our team is unity. We strongly believe in the power of feedback between members and sharing our thoughts. Because five heads are better than one, we want everyone involved in the strategy of the team!

4. What is your favorite race and why?

The crew members are unable to agree on a single favourite race …

We can’t help but mention the Québec races among our favourites! Those races are where we train daily yet the ice conditions between the Port of Québec and Lévis shore are most surprising. No two days are alike, and it is in these waters where we encounter all kinds of conditions that strategy becomes as important as physical strength and endurance. It’s a perfect opportunity to test our ability to adapt!

Another favourite deserves a mention: the Montreal race. It’s a unique competition on the circuit where the conditions require exceptional endurance. This event is more physical than strategic. Our team consists of young athletes who go to extremes to perform at their best, and this race truly puts them to the challenge. Moreover, this race is made more interesting because we must cross the “Sainte-Marie current”, which reaches a speed of 6 knots! It destabilizes boaters with its unique character and surprised us last year. We even lost one of our oars there… excitement guaranteed!

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