Race to Thunder Bay: Shipping Season Starts with Friendly Rivalry
Posted on: March 30, 2016

It wasn’t quite a photo finish, but 20,000 tonnes of metric weight might slow you down a bit, too.

Thunder Bay Port Authority, industry professionals, and shipping enthusiasts watched with baited breath to see whether the MV Tecumseh or the MV Algoma Equinox would be the first to make it into Thunder Bay’s harbour on Saturday. The MV Tecumseh managed to grind out a win with 45 minutes to spare ahead of the Algoma Equinox, and Tecumseh Captain Kevin Collard was presented with an award on Monday. According to the Chronicle Journal, it is the crew’s second first-in-port award in a row inThunder Bay.

Though the victory was welcomed, the Tecumseh crew wasn’t even aware it was a race until the last 24 hours of the journey. The ship left from Windsor, ON and was scheduled to load the aforementioned 20,000 tonnes of wheat, soy, and canola bound for Sorel, QC. The freighter was due to leave Monday evening. A mild spring and early ice breakup paved the way for an early start to the shipping season. MarineTraffic.com reports that the ship is in Lake Erie at the time of writing.

With the Great Lakes freighter (‘laker’) competition out of the way, all eyes turn to see which ocean vessel (‘salty’) will be the first to port Guy Jarvis of the Thunder Bay Port Authority speculated to CBC the first vessel was to approach the harbour by Tuesday night with a Wednesday docking. If the salty did come in last night, it would break the March 30th record for being the earliest ocean vessel in port. We’ve yet to see anything confirmed, but we’ll be on the lookout for the victor!

Several local news outlets covered the exciting race. Full coverage can be found at the following:

Chronicle Journal: ‘Exciting start to the season’ (March 29th, 2016) photo credit:Jeff Labine

CBC: ‘Two lakers race to be the first ship in Thunder Bay port this year’ (March 29th, 2016)

TB News Watch: Ships race into port following early ice breakup

MV Tecumseh. Photo credit Jeff Labine of the Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal.
MV Tecumseh. Photo credit Jeff Labine of the Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal.


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