Truly Canadian…Bear Mountain Boats War Canoe Challenge

Truly Canadian! Canoe Niagara 2013 is pleased to announce Bear Mountain Boats have teamed up with the War Canoe Challenge as title sponsor. A truly Canadian sport, War Canoe Racing plays an important role in Canadian Canoe Club sprint racing competition across the country. This August, as part of the 2013 International Canoe Federation (ICF) Junior and Under 23 Canoe Sprint World Championships, War Canoe competitors will battle it out on both Saturday and Sunday, August 3rd and August 4th .

Renowned in the world of flatwater sports, it’s no accident that Canada’s Bear Mountain flatwater boats look as appropriate in an art gallery as they do in the water. For 40 years partners Ted Moores and Joan Barrett have worked to produce all levels of wooden watercraft, including national sprint racing canoes that combine classic lines with the most advanced marine technologies.

Ted Moores, co-owner of Bear Mountain Boats, explains, “Bear Mountain Boats have been building War Canoes (also referred to as C15) since 1981, supplying more than 85 Sprint Canoe Clubs across Canada. The sport of sprint racing dates back more than 150 years making it the oldest organized sport in Canada. We are proud of our canoeing heritage and salute the athletes and their families and the healthy life style choices they make to stay fit and active. By sponsoring the War Canoe Challenge we hope to encourage more people to get out on the water paddling this uniquely Canadian canoe.”

In 2012, the Welland International Flatwater Centre (WIFC) was the site of the CanoeKayak Canada (CKC) National Championships that included a War Canoe Challenge with the Cheema Aquatic Club from Waverley, Nova Scotia coming away victorious. With their win, they earned themselves the opportunity to go to the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games to introduce the sport of War Canoe to spectators and participants before each day’s Olympic competition.

The War Canoes garnered a lot of interest in London. Moores partner and Bear Mountain co-owner Joan Barrett enthused, “Seeing teams of 15 paddlers racing in the War Canoe events attracts a lot of attention. It is dramatic – similar to Dragon Boat racing. Of course this is CANADIAN!” The War Canoe boats Bear Mountain builds are very light, well designed, sleek and far more efficient than heavier teak boats. Taking place at many Sprint Clubs, Dragon Boating’s rise in popularity is helping to increase awareness of group paddling and War Canoe.

Choosing to support Canoe Niagara as part of Bear Mountain’s 40th Anniversary celebration, Barrett enthusiastically continues, “All Canadian Clubs are welcome to take part in our special Bear Mountain War Canoe Challenge. The 200 metre long race will involve heats and finals over the final two days of Canoe Niagara 2013 this August. This Challenge will be a great way to showcase our uniquely Canadian Boat to the International Canoeing community. Besides creating excitement for spectators from all over the World, the competitors will be earning funds for their home clubs by competing for a total purse of $12,500!”

Moore explains the sport further, “A war canoe will be faster than a dragon boat over any given distance, because of a better hull shape – narrower and without the characteristic ‘w’ shape of dragon boat hulls, lighter construction, and the kneeling position allows for a fuller, more powerful stroke than the sitting position used in dragon boats. The sport of paddling – whether in sprint canoe, kayak, Dragon Boat or War Canoe – is a multi-generational sport. Paddling is not hard on your body like other sports (hockey, soccer, etc.) so you are able to participate throughout your life. People can get out on the water and get in a really good workout – it’s very healthy.

Bear Mountain Boats first started building Bear Mountain canoes near Powassan, Ontario in 1974, in a log and stone workshop built high on a hill at the northwestern edge of Algonquin Park. Relocating to Peterborough in 1995, currently BMB’s new old workshop on Marchett Line is looking more like a studio than a work shop these days as extensive renovations reach completion – including the installation of big windows overlooking the Otonabee River.

Discovering many people were interested in learning how to build their own canoes, Ted Moores has written or co-written numerous books including: CanoeCraft, KayakCraft and Kayaks You Can Build all providing builders with the tricks and skills to make an outstanding craft.

Moores and Barrett continue to take some time out of the shop travelling to Belize to assist various boat building projects there and in the winter of 2013/2013 helped out in Honduras at a community wood shop where Ted taught sharpening, tuned up the power tools and left behind some of his truco baratos.

For Ted Moores and Joan Barrett, life continues to be full of exciting possibilities, enriching friendships, and giving back to, and making a difference in, the sport of paddling. They invite you to join them for the Canoe Niagara 2013’s War Canoe Challenge on August 3rd and 4th at the WIFC.