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   Sled Run Draws Many Enthusiasts
  •  to West Carleton Legion

 West Carleton Review /Feb 21, 2017

 By Derek Dunn

 There were 110 riders piled into West Carleton's legion at the end  of  a warm and sunny day of snowmobiling.

The 11th annual Old Sled Run and Vintage Snowmobile Show, held Feb. 19, started off with a hearty breakfast and display of vintage machines in Constance Bay. Then the group was off to follow the tree line across the  Ottawa to Gavan Hotel in Quyon for lunch. They returned to Branch 616 for chili and the awards ceremony: oldest sled, Eli's favourite, and others that have little to do with competition and everything to do with celebrating the snowmobiling culture.

"It's about nostalgia and memories," said organizer Mike O'Reilly. "You know, these things break down all the time; out in the middle of nowhere; and you just love it. These are simple machines that bring you back to a simpler time.

"Everyone here grew up with snowmobiles, so it's about bringing back their childhood too."  Snowmobiling reveals parts of Canada never seen by those who stick to roadways, he added. "Out on the river with the blue skies and Gatineau Hills ahead of you, there's nothing like it."

Eli El-Chantiry gets out most years, but this one he stayed back to help cook breakfast. The West Carleton-March Coun. and former restaurant owner said the event is an important fundraiser for the legion. He is pleased that Sobeys in Kanata and Dunrobin Meats generously donated the food, which means the sled run raised about $2,000.

"That's important for this place," said El-Chantiry, who was the third sponsor. "And it brings the community together during family weekend. It even brings in a few people from outside the community. So they can come here and enjoy the legion."

Murray Gordon has attended the sled run all 11 years. He said last year's was held on the coldest day of the year, and this year's was, to date, held on the warmest. It made a difference in the turnout.

"It can be weather dependent," he said. "This is a good turnout this year. Would have been nice to be about 5 degrees colder, just to make it seem more like winter. But everything went well."


The 2017 Old Sled Run trophy winners are:

  •  Long Distance Award : Eli El-Chantiry, Beqaa Valley, Lebanon
  •  Youngest Rider: Austin Herrick, Pakenham
  •  Oldest Machine: Jeannot Pilon, Gatineau QC, 1965 Hus-ski; second oldest, Rob Foster, Nepean, 1967 Snow Cruiser 207
  •  Best Rare Iron: Keith Lowry, Almonte, 1969 Allied Hustler; second rare iron : Kerrington Blackburn, Carleton Place, 1971 Dauphin
  •  Best Rat Sled: Dennis Lambert, Carleton Place, 1970 Snow Cruiser, 'The Ugly Towed; second rat : Tyler Clarke, North Gower, 1970 Massey Ferguson Ski-Whiz 300S
  •  Best Resto-Mod: Don Kranz, Pembroke, 1971 Polaris Charger
  •  Best Vintage Suit: Lacey Moore, Fitzroy Harbour; second place : Andrew Herrick, Pakenham
  •  Loudest Pipes: Amanda & Chris Armstrong, Pakenham, 1994 Arctic Cat Thundercats
  •  Councillor's Choice: Mike Giles (Jr.), Almonte, 1970 Massey Ferguson Ski-Whiz 500SS
  •  Award of Merit: Phil Sadler, Kinburn