A Paddle Battle on Frame Lake between two Yellowknife high schools. Photo supplied by Cathy Allooloo
Yellowknife’s graduating classes will be competing for a tiebreaking win in an annual voyageur canoe race on Monday next week.
Two 10-person teams – one fromÉcole Sir John Franklin High School, one from École St Patrick High School – are set to paddle in the June 12 race on Frame Lake.
The course starts behind City Hall and wraps around an island at the far end of the lake before returning to the start area. The distance is estimated to be about one kilometre.
Narwal Northern Adventures is supplying canoes, life vests and paddles for the event.
“We like to give back to the students, and this is one way we can do it,” said Narwal’s Cathy Allooloo.
The company will also provide a pilot to steer each boat. However, how fast they move is entirely up to the graduating paddlers.
Adding some pressure to this year’s race is the fact that it’s a tiebreaker. Since the race – known as the Paddle Battle – began in 2013, each school has had three wins. (The last three years were skipped during the pandemic, and 2018’s event was cancelled due to high wind.)
“There’s the school name to uphold,” Allooloo said.
That being said, she described the event as a lot of fun, with engagement and camaraderie between the two graduating classes.
In years past, Allooloo said teams have worn jerseys or brought their mascots, but that’s up to the schools – and every year is slightly different.
If you want to find out what this year brings, the race starts at 4:30pm on Monday behind City Hall.