If you have never seen ice yacht racing, head up Lakeshore Drive tomorrow during the day and turn into the Silver Harbour Conservation Area. These little rockets, with seating for one person, three skate blades and a single sail skim across the lake at 100-140 km per hour...when there is wind. Its something to behold.
This is another great example of how our city's connectivity to the outdoor experiences and natural environment are our biggest tourism assets, not only for leisure but for organized sporting events as well. In terms of accommodation, meals, food and ancillary spending, this impromptu event will generate approximately $21 000 in economic impact for our city, educate us all on something new and opens the door to host more of these events in the future.
This event came together very quickly as Thunder Bay's cold winter and limited snowfall have created the best ice conditions in North America. In fact, the decision by the organization's governing body wasn't made until Saturday night...February 27th, to come here. Racers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and as far away as North Carolina, Poland and Germany are here for at least a few days as they compete in a 7 race series.
If you have a chance to get out on March 3rd at Silver Harbour, pop in to watch, say hi and extend your Thunder Bay welcome to them as well.
To learn more about this fantastic winter adrenalin rush of a sport, visit http://www.iceboat.org/ or google "ice boat"