The Ice Canoe Challenge returns to Montreal

Project 52 – Week 8: After a 20 year absence, the Ice Canoe Challenge returned to Montréal on Saturday (becoming the fifth stop on the Circuit International de Canot a Glace).

Ice canoe racing has been an event I always wanted to go and see, so I was really happy to hear that there was going to be a race held in Montreal.

The course for Montreal sounded pretty tough. The 34 teams (competing in 3 event classes – Men’s Elite, Women’s Elite and Sport) started off next to the clock tower in the old port. They then had to row (and push their canoes over the ice) up to the entrance of the Lachine canal before turning back and making their way over to Ile Sainte-Hélène (battling the strong Saint Lawrence current). The final leg had teams row back to the clock tower and repeat another 2 times.

Despite the fact the race started and ended (with various entertainment happenings) at the clock tower, I decided to go over to Ile Sainte-Hélène thinking competitors pushing their canoes over the ice with the Montreal skyline in the background would make for some good images.

The last time I was on Ile Saint-Hélène there had been quite a bit of ice, but there was no ice today and with heavy snow you could hardly see the Montreal skyline either – so much for my grand plan :-(

Having come all this way I decided to at least wait and shoot the first set of canoes to make it across the river and then head back to the Old Port and hope the race wouldn’t be finished before I got there.

The first group to arrive were the women…

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal
ISO 100 – 300mm – f5.6 – 1/90 sec

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal
ISO 100 – 300mm – f5.6 – 1/90 sec

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal
ISO 100 – 300mm – f5.6 – 1/180 sec

 

Crowds line the Clock Tower Quay

Crowds line the Clock Tower Quay
ISO 100 – 135mm – f6.7 – 1/250 sec

I packed up quickly and headed back to Old Montreal via the metro. Thankfully the race was far from over and so had plenty of time to shoot from a variety of locations.

The first image was shot from along the Quai de l’Horloge…

Défi Canot à glce Montréal

Défi Canot à glce Montréal
ISO 100 – 145mm -f5.6 – 1/180 sec

But I found the best spot was at the end of the King Edward Quay where the teams had to pull their canoes from the river and then push/slide them along the ice to the next checkpoint.

Défi canot à glace Montréal

Défi canot à glace Montréal
ISO 100 – 210mm – f11 – 1/125 sec

Défi canot à glace Montréal

Défi canot à glace Montréal
ISO 100 – 210mm – f11 – 1/125 sec

Défi canot à glace Montréal

Défi canot à glace Montréal
ISO 320 – 240mm – f5.6 – 1/1000 sec

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal
ISO 320 – 300mm – f22 – 1/90 sec

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal
ISO 250 – 300mm – f22 – 1/125 sec

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal
ISO 250 – 165mm – f11 – 1/125 sec

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal
ISO 250 – 75mm – f27 – 1/125 sec

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal
ISO 250 – 70mm – f27 – 1/125 sec

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal
ISO 250 – 270mm – f16 – 1/45 sec

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal
ISO 100 – 270mm – f8 – 1/250 sec

Défi canot à glace Montréal

Due to the snow, I had been shooting in manual focus mode since the auto focus was struggling to fix on a subject…Although being out of focus (I would like to say it was intentional – but it wasn’t and not because of the auto focus) I kind of liked how this next image came out.

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal

Ice Canoe Challenge Montreal
ISO 100 – 165mm – f5 – 1/500 sec

Although I really liked the bright colours of the canoes and many of the teams against the blanket white covering of snow and ice, I thought I would convert some images to black and white.

For the processing I used Topaz B&W Effects 2 which has just been released and now is a great time to pick up a copy as Topaz is offering 30% discount off the standard price of $59.99 – just use the coupon code bwfx2 before February 28 !

I really like the Platinum presets, but there are so many to try out and the usual great Topaz adjustment sliders to hone your image to just how you want.

Défi canot à glace Montréal

Défi canot à glace Montréal
ISO 100 – 135mm – f11 – 1/125 sec

Défi canot à glace Montréal

Défi canot à glace Montréal
ISO 100 – 300mm – f11 – 1/90 sec

Défi canot à glace Montréal

Défi canot à glace Montréal
ISO 250 – 300mm – f22 – 1/125 sec

Défi canot à glace Montreal processed with Topaz BW Effects 2

Défi canot à glace Montreal processed with Topaz BW Effects 2

While I was in the area I did grab a couple of shots of the Ice Fishing Village which was where the race began and ended.

Ice Fishing Village and some canoes

Ice Fishing Village and some canoes
ISO 100 – 20mm – f8 – 1/180 sec

Waiting for the fish to bite - whatever the weather

Waiting for the fish to bite – whatever the weather
ISO 100 – 300mm – f8 – 1/125 sec

Hopefully the race will return to Montréal next year and if it does I think that the Cité du Havre Park next to Habitat 67 will be an even better place to photograph the race.

To view the images in gallery format, click on one of the images below.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

– Martin

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Gracie February 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    These are great shots of the race, Martin. Looks like a fun one despite it being snowed in.

    I like your black and white conversions and I have to say, the Platinum preset is also my fave one to use.

    • Montreal in Pictures February 25, 2013 at 10:42 am #

      Thanks Gracie…The snow didn’t help shooting the race but added to the atmosphere I guess ;-)