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Canadian canoeists likely to get paddles on time thanks to ‘all hands on deck’ effort

July 3, 2023  By Daniel Rainbird, The Canadian Press

A group of 32 Canadian athletes landed in Italy on Monday for this week’s under-18 and under-23 sprint canoe world championships, but their paddles didn’t make the journey, says one of the parents.

Scott Bradley, the father of athletes Stuart, Maren and Peter Bradley, says Canoe Kayak Canada officials and some parents quickly sprang into action after the paddles were left off the Air Canada flight from Toronto to Venice.

They devised a plan where a coach and some parents would instead travel with the paddles to get them to Auronzo, Italy, on time for Wednesday’s competition.

With no flights to Venice on Monday night, that means taking a red-eye flight to Munich and driving four hours to Auronzo on Tuesday morning with 32 paddles stacked in the back.


“It’s been an all-hands-on-deck effort today to get the paddles,” said Bradley, who gives credit to Air Canada staff in Ottawa, Toronto and Munich for their quick response to solve the issue.

“It looks right now like we feel pretty good that they’ll be on that flight tonight and yeah, things will happen tomorrow.”

Bradley says Air Canada has even offered to pay for a bigger car, should the coach and parents need it.

Canoe Kayak Canada said earlier it was working with Air Canada to get the issue resolved and was “very optimistic” the team would have its equipment and be ready to race on Wednesday.

If all goes according to plan, the athletes will miss a practice session on Monday but have their paddles in hand for a tune-up on Tuesday before the competition starts.

The International Canoe Federation U18 and U23 canoe sprint world championship runs from Wednesday to Sunday in Auronzo.

Six Canadian women and men are competing in the U23 discipline, while 10 women and men are taking part in U18 competition.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2021


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