MORRISBURG – Like many great ideas, the Tubie race came from a couple of guys getting together over a beer and an informal paddle down the St. Lawrence River on an inner tube.
That idea took shape formally in 1971 when the first ever Tubie Race took place.
Winning the 1971 race were Gary Hess and Gord Dillabough.
That was the start of a 50 year tradition.
Looking back over the history of 49 years of Tubie races here in Morrisburg one can see many noteworthy details.
For the first 13 years the Tubie race was a two man race. At the outset of the two man-era it was the duo of Fred Veley and Ron McLean who enjoyed the most success until the duo of Doug Hodgson and Danny Cassell hit the water.
After winning five times as part of two-man teams, Cassell was able to win three more times as part of larger teams.
In 1984 a two-man team reported only as Campbell and Powell came to town and claimed the Kings of the River title. That was the last year of the two-man race.
In 1985 the race format changed. Participants could assemble teams for the race, but that year those teams remained all male.
In 1986 the co-ed rule was implemented meaning that from that year forward, women were an integral part of the annual Tubie Race.
For the next 20 years the race continued under the same format, attracting a number of crafts over the years varying from a low of six to a high of 35, when it was estimated that over 300 paddlers took to the water aboard those crafts.
In 1999 Robert Farlinger, Allan Farlinger, Isabella Jordan and Julie Wells took to the water to claim their first Tubie Race title.
Robert Farlinger went on to win nine more times, making him the winningest Tubie paddler in the event’s history.
In 2003 a team calling themselves ‘The Re-treads’ became the oldest team to win the race.
In 2009 Tubies underwent a format change to a sprint format whereby teams competed the heat races and then finals racing from the Morrisburg dock to the Morrisburg beach. Even with the completely different format Team Farlinger continued to demonstrate their paddling prowess.
The format change was meant to attract more interest and maybe more paddlers to participate in the event. While the sprints were great for spectators, traditionalists didn’t approve of the change. The sprint format lasted only five years.
The traditional long race format from Arlor Haven Campground to the Morrisburg beach made its return in 2014 and it remains in place.
While the Tubie tradition continued through 49 consecutive years of parades, dances and races, the COVID-19 pandemic meant that the unique event’s Golden Anniversary would have to be delayed until now.
July 29 through July 31, 50 Years Never Tubie Forgotten will celebrate 50 years of Tubie Weekends.
Open mic night, Bouncy castles, beer garden and dance have been organized by this year’s Tubie Committee. The Tubie Parade takes place at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 30.
The main event, the Tubie race from Arlor Haven to the Morrisburg beach starts at noon Sunday, July 31.
A secondary race, open to anyone, is also planned from the Morrisburg dock to the Morrisburg Beach. That takes place at 1 p.m. Sunday, July 31 as well.
No one yet knows who will claim the Kings and Queens of the River Crown for the 50th Tubie race, but the list of those who have paddled their way to Tubie victory is significant. The Leader compiled a list of past winners.
Two-man era spans first 14 years
1971 – Gary Hess and Gord Dillabough
1972 – Bill Jarvis and Ted Jarvis
1973 – Fred Veley and Ron McLean
1974 – Danny Cassell and Harvey McIntosh
1975 – Fred Veley and Ron McLean
1976 – Fred Veley and Ron McLean
1977 – Fred Veley and Ron McLean
1978 – Bill Dillabough and Steve Casselman
1979 – Bill Dillabough and Steve Casselman
1980 – Doug Hodgson and Danny Cassell
1981 – Doug Hodgson and Danny Cassell
1982 – Doug Hodgson and Danny Cassell
1983 – Doug Hodgson and Danny Cassell
1984 – Campbell and Powell of Toronto (First non local winners)
Tubies becomes a team sport
1985 – Brian Dawley, Rob Wetzel, Doug Hodgson, Leo Lafortune and Danny Cassell.
Tubies goes co-ed
1986 – Danny and Louise Cassell, Bryan and Anne-Marie Dawley, Leo and Brenda Lafortune, Doug Hodgson, Wanda Dawley, Robert Wetzel, Sylvie Goulet. (First year of women being welcomed in to race with co-ed team rule.)
1987 – Kevin Whitteker, Lynn Whitteker, Kevin Brown, Gary Moore, Elaine Valiquette, Nancy Johnson, Darren Patterson, Jill Murphy.
1988 – Danny Cassell, Rock Seguin, Rob Wetzel, Kevin Wells, Leo and Brenda Lafortune, Louise Cassell, Diane Desnoyers, Sylvie Goulet, Devon Bird.
1989 – Sean Boulerice, Donald Black, David Black, Shawn Baker, Jim Bennis, Diane Beehler, Diane VanMoorsel, Heather Crawley, Carolyn VanMoorsel, Haley Adair.
1990 – Lynn Cruickshank, Steve Cruickshank, Andy McCollough, Mary Gerosa, Paul Hunt, Brigitte LeBlanc, Dave McCann, Diane Diorio, John Jacobi.
1991 – Lynn Cruickshank, Andy McCollough, Brigitte LeBlanc, Steve Cruickshank, Kim McKenzie, Judy Tapp, Bob Martin, Phil McKenzie.
1992 – Lynn Cruickshank, Andy McCollough, Brigitte LeBlanc, Phil McKenzie, Bob Martin, Kim McKenzie, Steve Cruickshank, John Jacobi, Lori Zabroc, Peggy Gallinger.
1993 – Sean Boulerice, Donald Black, David Black, Shelley Black, Shawn Baker, Jim Bennis, Nancy Beavers, Diane Gallinger, Cindy Warren, Carolyn Clement.
1994 – Sean Boulerice, Donald Black, David Black, Shelley Black, Shawn Baker, Jim Bennis, Lindsay Weegar, Nancy Beavers, Terri Cordiner, Cindy Warren, Kim McKenzie.
1995 – Rick Groves, Dale Dingwall, John Bosman, Ian Conklin, Jim Riddell, Celine Hart, Debbie Blair, Kathy Blair, Tamra Conklin, Debbie Crawford.
1996 – Rick Groves, Linda Smelko, Lise Piche, Debbie Crawford, Celine, Hart, Maureen Pinkos, John Bosman, Louis Piche, Jim Riddell, Dale Dingwall.
1997 – Rick Groves, Linda Smelko, Lise Piche, Louis Piche, Debbie Crawford, Jim Riddell, Dale Dingwall, Colette Piche, Celine Hart, John Bosman.
1998 – Rick Groves, Louis Piche, Colette Piche, Celine Hart, Debbie Crawford, Linda Smelko, Dale Dingwall, John Bosman, Jim Riddell.
Farlinger reign begins
1999 – Robert Farlinger, Allan Farlinger, Isabella Jordan, Julie Wells.
2000 – Robert Farlinger, Glenn Smirle, Julie Gurnhill, Kate Edwards.
2001 – Robert Farlinger, Allan Farlinger, Isabella Jordan, Julie Wells.
2002 – Robert Farlinger, Allan Farlinger, Kate Edwards Heather Breen.
2003 – Jim Hummell, Cathy Hummell, Wim Berghuis, Alie Berghuis, Liz McCooeye, Dale Crowder
2004 – Joe McCooeye, Matt McCooeye, Andrew Vandermuelen, and team.
2005 – Robert Farlinger, Allan Farlinger, Glenn Smirle, Nancy Jordan, Kate Edwards.
2006 – Team Farlinger
2007 – Team Farlinger
2008 – Lindsay Waddell, Jane Locke, Ashley Cooper, Richard Groniger, Billy DeJong, Greg Millard.
New Sprint format introduced
2009 – Team Farlinger (Introduction of the new sprint format)
2010 – Isabella Jordan, Andy Lee, Robert Jordan, Nancy Jordan, Diane Gallinger, Robert Farlinger, Rob Domanko, Kate Edwards, Carolyn Weeger and Chris Kirkof
2011 – Katherine Lee, Andy Lee, Sarah Dickey, Isabella Jordan, Robert Jordan, Daniel Davidson, Cody Casselman, Kyle Jarvis, Nancy Jordan and Leah Wells.
2012 – Gary Magee, Irene Shaver, Adrienne Leroy, Jay Griffiths, Susie Wye and Dan Shaver
2013 – Gary Magee, Philip Pietersma, Sheri Halpenny, Jaime Notman, Susie Wye Austin Wilcox.
Traditional Format returns
2014 – Gary McGee, Jaime Notman, Stephanie Crowell, Sheri Halpenny, Mark Hayward and Mario Del Ricco
2015 – Sarah Dickey, Jordan Smail, Jason Locke-McIntosh, Nancy Jordan, Robert Jordan, Allison Lee, Andy Lee, Isabella Jordan and Evan Harper
2016 – Katherine Lee, Matt Van Moorsel, Nancy Jordan, Allison Lee, Robert Farlinger, Andy Lee, Robert Jordan, Isabella Jordan, and Sarah Dickey
2017 – Team Katherine Lee
2018 – Team Lee
2019 – Melanie Saunders, Cole Beckstead, Marc Beckstead, Quinn Bennis, Abby Jordan, Lucas Bennis, Erika Jordan, Jonah Bennis, Jayme Henry, and Marcy Smith
Pandemic delays golden year
2020 – Postponed due to pandemic related restrictions
2021 – Cancelled due to pandemic related restrictions
2022 – Head down to the Morrisburg waterfront Sunday afternoon to see for yourself who will paddle their way to the distinction of winning the 50th anniversary celebration race.