Peter and Silke Gumplinger were the first kayak to the finish line at the Alert Bay 360 race.

Alert Bay 360 paddles battle weather

Winds and strong currents did not keep boaters away from the 10th annual Alert Bay 360 race.

Wind and strong currents did not keep boaters away from this year’s 10th annual Alert Bay 360 Aug. 3.

Part competition and part eco-tourism awareness, the annual Alert Bay 360 features human-powered watercraft of all sizes and shapes making their way around Cormorant Island – a distance of seven nautical miles.

According to organizer Luke Lessard the weather was cool and cloudy with an eight-knot northwest wind and a strong flooding current of five knots. Over 80 vessels, with just over 100 people took part in this year’s event including participants from the Campbell River Paddle Club, Nanaimo Paddle Club, Comox/Courtenay,  Salish Sea Rowing Club, Vancouver Paddlers, as well as locals from the Tri-port area.

“This number was down just a bit from last year, but I also talked with around 30 people that wanted to make it this year, but could not, mostly due to strong wind warnings,” Lessard said.”We gave away 65 prizes (with a) retail value over $11,000,” he said.

Local RCMP, Canadian Coast Guard, Auxiliary Coast Guard, and many other safety vessels accompanied participants during the race. Each safety vessel and event volunteer had a hand held radio to quickly relay any issues or concerns.

The fastest time ever was 45 minutes done by former Olympic athlete Ian Mackenzie, who wins every time he participates in the race.

This year’s results were:

Peter/Silke Gumplinger – 59.2, Ben Muench – 1.02.32, Kathleen Petereit – 1.03.09, Ross Ellingwood – 1.03.54, Jim Smith – 1.05.59, Derek/Alison O’Beirne – 1.06.49, SP Smith – 1.06.53, Donald Craig – 1.08.03, Heather Taylor – 1.11.26, Michele Genge – 1.12.21, Sarah Hauser – 1.15.52, Ruth Marr – 1.17.31, Sam Cook – 1.17.49, Wayne Peterson – 1.18.32, Kim Chilton – 1.18.33, Michael Paul – 1.19.47, Annette Oshea – 1.20.51, Cole Barrat – 1.20.51, Ed James – 1.21.59, George/Barbara Spence – 1.23.52, Doug Abbot/Rena Sweeney – 1.24.42, Barry Switnicki – 1.24.51, Lon Temereski – 1.26.12, John Bramham – 1.26.21, Daryl Barnes – 1.26.25, Matt Nestman – 1.27.25, Robin Yakhour – 1.27.43, Tim/Louise Kenning – 1.27.44, Cal/Jen Pelletier – 1.28.32, Stephan Bernhard – 1.29.10.