Closest race finish in Tubie history

While competitors for the 51st annual Tubie Race met relatively still waters Sunday (August 6), there was a challenge towards the end as a passing Great Lakes vessel – the Federal Sakura sailed past. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

MORRISBURG – It literally came down to a photo finish at the 2023 Tubie Race.

In the closest Tubie Race that anyone can remember, Team Outlaws hit the Morrisburg beach (pictured above) on Sunday, August 6, just five seconds ahead of Team Gone Wild, with Sunken Saloon coming in third. Outlaws hit the sand at 29.05, Gone Wild at 29.10.

Winning team members Tanner Hummell, Aaron Smith, Ryan Brown, Jordan St. Lewis, Makayla Barrette, Casey McNairn, Alice Cameron and Elese St. Louis, were exhausted, but jubilant, after what proved to be a very tight race from Arlor Haven Campgrounds to the beach in Morrisburg.

The crowd cheered all the Tubie crews as they pulled ashore – and then followed most of the rowers to the Bud Lite Beer Tent set up along the waterfront as part of the big community celebration.

The 2023 ‘Tubies Gone Wild,’ a fun-filled three days played out under sunny skies and drew large crowds. A lot of former residents ‘come home’ for this weekend to take in the many events and renew old friendships.

On Saturday the Tubie Parade wound its way through town. There were many bright, colourful and very imaginative floats in this year’s parade, including some mischievous Trolls, Yoshi and Super Mario Friends, some ‘tough’ cycle Outlaws, a few special Westerners, fancy cars of all ages and types, those Swinging Seniors, Ball Players, handsome Clydesdales and even the “Original King of the River” himself. Kids and parents alike had a great time, and also collected lots and lots of candy.

A very well attended Tubie Dance Saturday night featuring the Vanduras, a Friday night Open Mic, and Rogue on stage at Sunday’s Beer Garden, guaranteed there was great musical entertainment for everyone to enjoy.

However, in celebration of 51 years of Tubies, the big Race on Sunday was a major highlight.

Both the start and the finish lines had plenty of spectators on hand to enjoy the fun. And from the moment the nine ‘unusual’ crafts and their eager crews raced out of Arlor Haven (accompanied by a flotilla of small boats and canoes), past a steam ship coming upriver (the captain must have wondered what was going on!), it was a very exciting and hard fought race. Congratulations to all the participants.

And congratulations and thanks to the organizers who spent enormous amounts of time making Tubies Gone Wild such great fun in 2023, and to local businesses and individuals who supported them. Job well done. Plans are already underway for Tubies 2024.

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