Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Thunder Bay Welcomes North American Ice Yacht Championships

Proving that there is no limit to the potential to host sport tourism events of all sorts, Tourism Thunder Bay is thrilled to welcome fifty eight ice yacht racers to the city this week from all over North America and as far away as Poland and Germany. While we had no direct role in bringing the event to Thunder Bay, we want to make sure these folks all feel the embrace of our "superior by nature" brand of hospitality. This is an event that found its way to the city because of our world class natural environment.

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"

1 comment:

Patty said...

This is an excellent example of the recreational and tourism opportunities that can be explored for Thunder Bay. Never mind hotels or condos on the waterfront, bring on real life activities! People will travel for this kind of excitement, and this is the nicest time of the winter!