“Queen of the river,” laughed Katherine Lee, captain of the crew which won the 2015 tubie race on Sunday, August 2, in a record-setting time of 23.41. “I think I like the sound of that.”
The Lee Crew, Sarah Dickey, Jordan Smail, Jason Locke-McIntosh, Nancy Jordan, Robert Jordan, Allison Lee, Andy Lee, Isabella Jordan and Evan Harper, defeated seven other very determined teams to take the first place honours in the annual river race. Second and third places were taken, following a tough finish line scrimmage, by the Jeff Barclay team, 25.30, and the Greg Millard team, 25.32.
Asked the secret of her impressive Tubie win, Katherine Lee said, “The secret? Having your father blow up the tubes, and having him do all the hard labour. (Her dad is Andy Lee.) But I had a really intense group of paddlers on this team. Frankly, we didn’t practice ahead of time, just winged it. And that is our secret, I guess.”
Originally nine tubies were due to launch from Arlor Haven at noon on Sunday, but just before the starting gun, the Cole and Christyn Veinotte tubie blew up, and, seconds later, so did the Matt Laurin tubie. Making it the distance were Sage Barclay’s team, (4th), the Swank Construction/Cochrane Construction Team, (5th), the Purolator team (6th) and the Evonik team. Both the Evonik team (captained by plant engineer, Blain Moran) and the Purolator team were first time entrants in the Tubie Race.
Following the inner tube rupture, captain Cole Veinotte and his team offered all of the other entrants materials or help, telling them to salvage anything they needed from his craft; his team then assisted the other competitors to get off to a solid start. The Matt Laurin team elected to finish the race in their own way, and some team members actually swam what was left of their inner tube to the beach finish line, arriving about 90 minutes after the race winner.
This year, organizers of the Tubie weekend, the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce and its Tubie committee, chaired by Lois Casselman, established a new competitive category for the popular race, the Most Team Spirit award. The 2015 winner was the Cole and Christyn Veinotte team. Among the prizes, first place won $400, second place $250, third place $150, and fourth, fifth and sixth places each won $50.
Under skies that miraculously cleared when organizers needed them to, guaranteeing big crowds at all the Tubie events, there proved to be something for everyone to enjoy. The theme for the 45th Tubie weekend was Ghosts of Tubies Past.
The floats for the parade, held on Saturday, August 1, were very impressive. Entries included the chamber of commerce/Evonik, Purolator’s ‘Tubie Delivery’, Tubie Ancient Egypt (Kaylee and Kasidy Morrell), Yabba Dabba Tubies (the Veinottes), A Tubie Christmas Carol (Lee entry), Ghosts of Tubie Pirates (Swank Construction/Cochrane Construction), the Scooby Doos and All Tubies Go to Heaven (Laurin team). The float judges, Brenda Locke, councillor Archie Mellan and Jentry Van Baal of Corus Entertainment had a tough time awarding the prizes. The Ancient Egypt Tubie took first prize, $400, Yabba Dabba Tubie was second, $250, All Tubies Go to Heaven was third, $150, while A Tubie Christmas Carol, the Ghosts of Pirates Past and the Scooby Doos each got $50. Donnie Bowes was the parade announcer.
The Tubie dance Saturday night, featuring One Night Standards, saw over 300 in attendance. Friday night, the Tubie weekend received an unexpected jump start when the Empire Pipe Band, travelling from New York City to take part in the Maxville Highland Games, and staying at the McIntosh Country Inn, went down to the Morrisburg waterfront and treated lucky listeners to a great impromptu concert.
The Tubie Committee, which deeply appreciated everyone’s participation in the 2015 Tubie weekend, was made up of Lois Casselman, Brenda McIntosh, Donnie Bowes, Carl McIntrye, Kevin Casselman, Jonathan Laplante, Gerri Fitzsimmons. Tracey Veinotte, Cole Veinotte and Christyn Veinotte.
The Tubie tradition continues.