King of the River: Magee does it again!


 It was a fight right to the very finish, but in the end, experience seemed to be the deciding factor as Team Magee captured the Tubie title, King of the River, for the second year in a row, Sunday, August 4.

With a winning time of 5:15, the veteran Magee Team defeated the Katherine Lee team by mere seconds. Lee’s young team came ashore at the Morrisburg beach in a time of 5:35

The other contenders vying for the trophy, title and bragging rights in the final race appeared, like the Lee team, to be largely made up of a new generation of young participants. Consequently, the future of the Tubie Races is looking good. 

Team Barclay/Veinotte pulled ashore in 5:51, the Morrell Sisters team made it in 6:00 and the South Nation Conservation Authority team hit the beach in 6:29.

“I had a great crew,” said captain Gary Magee,  now twice crowned King of the River. Members of his strong, championship team were Philip Pietersma, Sheri Halpenny, Jaime Notman, Susie Wye and Austin Wilcox. “We built the best craft, low in the water, and I had six incredibly fit people paddling.”

Asked the secret of his racing success, Magee claims a lot has to do with  the design of his unique rudder. “‘Black Beauty’ rides low in the water, so the paddlers can dig in. Everyone is able to paddle and steer with the special rudder on our tubie.”

Will Team Magee be back to race next year?

“Absolutely,” said Gary Magee. “We plan to make it three in a row!”

This year’s race, like last year’s, had two qualifying heats, which left the Morrisburg dock at noon and 12:45 respectively. The top two teams from each heat, and the next best time, all took part in the final race at about 1:30 p.m. While they did not make the finals, the Jon Domanko team, the Greg Millard team and the Canadian Tire team helped make the qualifying heats fast and exciting. 

The winning team took home a prize of $400 presented by the Morrisburg & District Lions club, who organized the Tubie weekend under the leadership of Mike Domanko, Matt McCooeye and their team of volunteers. Second place winners received $250, 3rd got $150, with 4th and 5th place finishers taking home $50 per team.

With the weather holding, virtually all weekend (one or two sudden swift downpours on Sunday did not discourage any fans), the Tubie weekend was a bit hit. 

Events kicked off on Saturday, August 3, with the great Tubie parade. The theme of this year’s Tubie weekend was ‘Keep calm and paddle on’. Float designers interpreted that in a number of very entertaining ways.

First prize winner ($400) was  Keep calm and drive on, or Tubie Hot Wheels, the Morrell Sisters’ float. Rednecks everywhere would have been proud of the Barclay/Veinotte Duck Dynasty float which came in second, and was awarded $250. In third spot, with the theme Keep calm – no run! Zombies everywhere! was the float designed by Katherine Lee’s family and friends.

Canadian Tire entered a Gilligan’s Island float where the riders really did have an uncanny resemblance to the old television sitcom castaways.

The Lions Club sponsored float, Keep calm, get your Super on, featured a lot of mini Marvel super heroes, and won $50 which was donated back to the Tubies. 

The Keep calm and Waldo on float carried a collection of identical Waldos of all ages, who somehow found their way through the wide world to Morrisburg. And the Millard team (also $50 winners), brought back fond memories of past great tubie themes with their Tubies Then and Now ‘picture frames.’

Estimates suggest close to 1,000 people came out to watch the 2013 parade, while the shoreline along the pier and the Morrisburg beach were crowded with Tubie fans and supporters on race day. The Sunday morning Lions Great Duck Race also brought lots of hopefuls to the beach to see dog volunteers retrieve winning ducks.

Morrisburg & District Lions Club organizers, who did an outstanding job, thanked sponsors and the community for their support of the 2013 Tubies.

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