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May 2014


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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Sanctioned by the Ontario Marathon Canoe and Kayak Racing Association, the 2nd Annual Big East River X is only 5 1/2 weeks away. It will be a great day on the water for families and recreational paddlers enjoying some friendly competition along a safe and sheltered 9km route. The Big East River X will also be a great day for competitive marathon paddlers looking for a longer early season race. At 40km, the Marathon race will have teams paddle into Lake Vernon and up the Big East River to Arrowhead Provincial Park, returning along an out-and-back route. With plenty of categories, everyone is welcome including family teams, bantams, and adults. Try your hand racing canoes, kayaks and  stand-up paddle-boards. Located in the heart of Muskoka, this event starts and finishes in downtown Huntsville, Ontario. Whether you’re looking for a fun day on the water or to get into marathon paddle racing the Big East River X is the event is for you. Please make sure that you check out our web site and review the Competitor Details for event registration details, itinerary, parking, rules, and maps at Register in advance on-line to avoid the rush of the registration lines early on Saturday morning.

Important Updates: Big East River X

Inflatable PFDs are allowable for the Big East event, as long as they are Coast Guard/DOT approved: They must be worn at all times. Please see the Big East River X Competitor Document for specific details.

Self-draining systems integrating into the bottom of the hulls do meet the requirement of a bailer, as long as the watercraft is participating in a competition/racing event. A bailing device is still required for the same watercraft when used for recreation or training. This has been confirmed with the marine division of the Ontario Provincial Police.

Please be advised that there will be a large community event being held in downtown Huntsville over the June 21-22, 2014 weekend. Main Street (downtown area) will be closed. To access River Mill Park we recommend that you use Centre Street and follow Caroline Street East to Queen Street. There are parking lots near River Mill park. Arrive early to get the best parking! (See Competitor Document for map of downtown.)

Activities for Families and Friends: Big East River X

June 21, 2014 will be a great day for paddling in Muskoka but there are tones of other great activities going on in Huntsville for your families and friends. No need to feel guilty for spending 5 hours on the water.  Downtown Huntsville will be hosting a full weekend of food, wine, gardening and renovations called “Live It Getaway”. Check out the Chamber of Commerce for all the activities happening in and around Huntsville over the June 21-22 weekend. (


September 12-14, 2014

The Longest Single Day Expedition Paddling Race in the World! After its inaugural year, the MRX has received some very respectable accolades:

  • Toughest Single Day Canoe Race in the World
  • Best SUP Race in Eastern Canada
  • Top 25 Summer Adventures in Canada
  • Top 20 Ultra-Distance paddling races in North America

For 2014 we’ve increased the number of available teams from 50 to 100. Already approaching 70% capacity, we can’t be more pleased. With paddlers coming in from as far away as Hawaii, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Vermont, Ontario should be proud to know that Muskoka is a world-class watershed and provides some of the best expedition racing around.  It’s also very accessible; being only a few hours’ drive from most points in Southern/Central Ontario, Quebec, and the northern States.

If you love paddling, check out all the details at Visit our 2013 year end wrap-up blog for all the links to photos, race videos, results, and more. Check out the documents section and read up on the heritage of the MRX route, study the maps, organize your weekend itinerary, and read everything you need to know to participate in the MRX.  Race it solo, with a partner, or as a relay team. Paddle a canoe, kayak, or SUP. Don’t miss out on the experience of a life-time. Challenge Yourself!

Important Updates: Muskoka River X

Mandatory Gear – New Requirement: All teams must carry means to repair the hull of their watercraft. This is a new requirement of the OMCKRA for the Muskoka River X. The means to repair a damaged hull depends on the type of materials used in manufacturing the watercraft. For example, carbon fibre vs. vinyl inflatables vs. plastic will all require slightly different methods of repair. We will be flexible on the supplies used as long as the method of repairing a damaged hull enables the watercraft to be seaworthy. Professional hull repair kits can be purchased directly from Hand Crafted Canoes ( or you can build your own. Be mindful that dampness, dirt, residues, temperature, waterline and even types of gel coat or vinyl affect the degree to which adhesives like duct tape/Duck Tape, red sheathing tape/Tuck Tape, MACtac, and other “go-to” items will be effective. Make sure you test you kit in advance and be confident that it works. We also recommend that you contact a local boat dealer, builder, or repair shop if you have questions. Two great boat doctors recommended by the MRX crew are James at Hand Crafted Canoes in Breslau, Ontario ( or John at Johnny’s Boat Shop in Huntsville, Ontario (

Bailers: Self-draining systems integrating into the bottom of the hulls do meet the requirement of a bailer, as long as the watercraft is participating in a competition/racing event. A bailing device is still required for the same watercraft when used for recreation or training. This has been confirmed with the marine division of the Ontario Provincial Police.


Located at the start line, ALGONQUIN OUTFITTERS has everything you need to get to finish your adventure. Contact Gord ( Whether you are racing 9km, 40km, or 130km Gord will give you all the advice needed to make sure that you are properly outfitted.

Hand Crafted Canoe is also a preferred partner and is offering a pretty sweet deal on canoe rentals: Train and race an HCC canoe for the entire season for only $600. Available only to River X competitors. Eamil James at


Both the Big East and Muskoka River X weekends are going to be quite busy this year in Huntsville. There is a large downtown festival scheduled for June 21, 2014 and there is a weekend long music festival being held in Huntsville on the MRX weekend. Except accommodation to be in short supply. Don’t leave it to the last minute to book your room. Our preferred accommodations include the King William Inn, situated only 600m from River Mill Park, as well as Tulip Inn, the turn-around point of the Big East. Reserve now!


The Big East and MRX are not money races. Don’t expect a prize purse of few thousand dollars split between 30+ racers. You’ll just end up getting gas money and maybe a burger at McDonalds.

The MRX crew loves their gear…and the MRX is all about the gear! This is great for you because that means amazing prizes! What you can expect from the MRX are some pretty sweet prizes for the top competitors AND some even sweeter prizes for everyone else! You don’t have to be a top place finisher to win. The MRX recognizes that anyone who finishes this race is a winner. Last year we gave away over $4500 in prizes.

For 2014, it’s getting even better. Already the MRX Crew has given away free accommodation for the MRX weekend valued at $290, a custom MRX embroidered Salus Ungava life jacket valued at $150, and two HI-TEC Hard Rain Shells each valued at $109.95. Those paddlers who have registered before Feb 28/2014 and paddle both the Big East and MRX are eligible to win a $2400 Kevlar Nith River canoe from Hand Crafted Canoes. Additionally, the fasted HCC boat to paddle the MRX will win a pair of custom cedar-glass bent shaft paddles valued at $500.

But with prizes don’t stop there! The MRX crew has just signed up Lupine Lighting Systems as a product sponsor: This means that anyone who paddles the MRX is eligible to win one of their 1200 Lumen PIKO systems mated to a 13.2Ah battery providing upwards to 12 hours of daylight, including all the mounting hardware. Value? Over $1000.00.

ALGONQUIN OUTFITTERS: What more can we say about our Title Sponsor. Rich Swift and his crew at AO have worked their magic again for 2014 and that means really great gear for you! The North Face. KEEN. Petzel. Salus. Sea To Summit. AO is adding to this list of product sponsors as we speak. Expect nothing from the best from Algonquin Outfitters. They deliver and all you need to do is finish the race to become eligible for some of their great prizing.

Stay in touch by checking in our FaceBook for updates, as well as our blog.  If you have a question, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.  We try our best to respond as quick as we can.  We look forward to seeing everyone again and can’t wait for June 21st.

Cheers,  Mike & Rob.