Paddlers set off for the start of the Alert Bay 360.

McKenzie retains 360 title

Familiar faces topped the podium at the annual Alert Bay 360 race.

ALERT BAY—  Familiar faces topped the podium as kayakers descended on Cormorant Island for the annual Alert Bay 360 race.

The event pits rowers in a clockwise circumnavigation of Cormorant Island and is open to any self-propelled craft. The bulk of this year’s armada was made up of kayaks with various canoes, skiffs and even paddle boats filling the field.

This year 92 paddlers registered for the race with a preliminary count of 73 actually taking to the water.

After a countdown, the fleet of paddlers set off from the Government Dock at 11 a.m. with several pleasure craft mingling with the safety boats in the bay to get a good view of the start.

Ian McKenzie topped the field yet again in a little over 50 minutes. This year’s title makes  four in a row for the accomplished kayaker.

Minutes later he was followed over the line by Zoe Nercross-Nu who retained the first place female award.

This year added a cash prize for the first double to cross the line and Peter and Silke Gumplinger took the inaugural title.

Aside from the cash prizes, sponsors supplied an array of masks, paddles, camping equipment, jewelry and excursion vouchers for the competitors.