On Board 2019

Wow! By far this was definitely On Board’s best year yet! Waking up always feels like Christmas morning when it’s On Board day!

I woke up around 5:30am and we got to the canal around 8:00am for set up. Paddlers began arriving right away, and boy oh boy was it ever a big turnout. I greeted everyone coming in like I always do, and was completely blown away at everyone who came. Surf the Greats missed last year, so I was so over the moon happy to see them there again this year when they all arrived skating down the Canal path on their carver skateboards.

The rest of the day felt like that. I was so overwhelmed at the amount of people that came. We kicked off the morning with an Ontario SUP Series race, our first one EVER on the Welland Canal. It was so much fun to showcase the races to everyone. I also had a great race. Ariel Amaral and I teamed up and drafted each other the whole time. At the end of the race it came down to quite the sprint and I was able to pull ahead. It felt so good to claim a win on the series at home!

After the races were over, we helped launch the kids for their race. Elise Beaudoin won, and I taught her in the SUPKids program last week so I was very proud of her for winning her first race. Lunch flex by and all I was doing was running around like crazy making sure everyone had a board to ride for the charity paddle.

Photo: Lucas Murnaghan / Surf the Greats

Photo: Lucas Murnaghan / Surf the Greats

Around 1:30pm we were able to kick off the charity paddle. I can definitely say that we had over one hundred paddlers participate this year! It was truly incredible to see everyone on the water, and nothing in my life will ever beat that view. The paddle took us an hour and a half and we completed the same route as last year. Halfway I stopped at Lincoln St and chatted with lots of the other paddlers and then we created an eight man long draft train. We stayed in this train for most of the way back behind Stephen and Monique’s coach boat.

After the charity paddle fun, I helped Glen Buchanan with the Ontario SUP Series race awards. Glen announced everyone while I handed out the awards. It was such a nice way to wrap up at the Canal. Afterwards went home quickly, changed and then headed off to Mr. Mikes for dinner and live music provided by Rob Repovs and my brothers band ‘Lazy on the Weekend’.

I will forever be grateful for another successful year in which we raised a grand total of $12,800!!

Huge thank you’s go out to On Boards sponsors, participants and those who could not be there. See you next year!!

Photo: Lucas Murnaghan / Surf the Greats

Photo: Lucas Murnaghan / Surf the Greats

Madeline Leblanc