It was a nail biter ending to the 2012 Tubie race.
Held on Sunday, August 5, from the Morrisburg dock, the race for gold ultimately came down to two crafts, Gary Magee’s and Jon Domanko’s, both battling waves and a strong wind at the finish.
At the Morrisburg beach, with both sets of paddlers pumping furiously, the winning decision was made in three seconds.
Gary Magee’s team pulled up on the sand first, to be crowned the new Kings of the River in a time of 6:12, while Team Domanko took silver with a time of 6:15.
Seizing bronze in a time of 6:44 was Jeff Barclay’s team while Curtis Fowler and the South Nation Conservation Authority came fourth (7:17) and the Waddell/Millard team took fifth (7:42).
A big upset in the race came earlier in the afternoon when the Katherine Lee team, the defending 2011 Tubie champions, got caught in the wind, during their qualifier, and turned turtle in the river. Team members, all wearing life jackets, were dumped into the St. Lawrence. No one was injured in any way, but the rowers and their craft had to be ferried to shore and were out of contention.
The crowd waiting for the final race outcome at the Morrisburg beach, felt they had certainly gotten their ‘money’s worth’ with the 2012 competition.
“This was the best race ever,” said Wayne Domanko, who served as official timer for the races. “What an incredible finish.”
Gary Magee shared some thoughts with Morrisburg & District Lion, Mike Domanko, one of the prime organizers of the annual Tubie weekend.
“Jon Domanko and I worked together for years,” Magee said, “but we have different ideas about how to win the contest, so we split up and made it a rivalry between us.
This year my team went with a new rudder design and we were able to steer despite strong winds. Even thought the Tubies is over 40 years old, there’s still room for creativity.”
Mike Domanko said that some special creative awards were acknowledged this year. The Emergency Preparedness nod went to Jeff Barclay, whose Tube-in-a-Tube design kept his team in the race, when their outer tube blew. Magee received kudos for Innovation of the Year for his foot operated rudder controls.
The Magee Tubie (Gary Magee, Irene Shaver, Adrienne Leroy, Jay Griffiths, Susie Wye and Dan Shaver) took home $400 in prize money, with the Domanko team winning $250 for second place. The Barclay team won $150 for third. The South Nation group received $50.
Taking part in all the Tubie fun, although they did not qualify for the final race, were crafts skippered by Tommy Keyes and Canadian Tire.
The weather for the 2012 Tubie weekend co-operated for the most part, although Sunday did start off a little threatening. Saturday was hot, but that did not deter the annual parade of Tubie floats. The Friday night Teen Dance, a new addition to the weekend, proved to be a success as did the Tubie Dance on Saturday night.
The theme of this year’s Tubies was ‘Dock of Ages’, and there were some highly creative floats in the noon parade.
The Barclay/Laurin float, which celebrated the Muppets, was awarded first prize by float judges and a cheque for $400 on Saturday. Alice in Wonderland (Waddell/Millard) came second, and won $250. It’s Good Tubie Under the Dock, the Magee/Domanko float was third, tied with the Lions Mini Pops float, each winning $150.
The Katherine Lee float, Dock of Ages, came 4th, the Red Neck Tubies 5th and Canadian Tire 6th. The last three each received $50.