Canada might have its coveted Stanley Cup, but it has another cup creating just as much fanfare.
With the 8th Annual Level Six Capital Cup just around the corner on April 25/26, an annual fun-filled freestyle on the Ottawa River’s Champlain Rapids, organizers are worried that the marquee cup has gone up in Calgary-type flames.
Every year for eight years running the trophy for the Capital Cup has gotten stolen and ended up on a road trip somewhere. It’s been shot, sunk, faux urinated on, survived a bachelor party, all with photos sent to the Level Six offices to prove it. Now photos have surfaced showing it in a barn fire.
“It’s been places we could not even imagine,” says Level Six’s Zac Osmond. “We can only hope that each year the captors bring it back…we just know better than to drink from it now.”
Held off of Bates Island, the Level Six Capital Cup is a yearly celebration of everything paddling, and is the place to be if you’re a paddler in Eastern Ontario or Western Quebec. There’s music, demos, clinics and more, all free for the taking. Apart from a great display of freestyle paddling, stories also get shared on shore and at the raucous Afterburner party as paddlers come together after a long winter’s hibernation.
Of course, the quest for the Capital Cup itself also contributes it share of stories. Sure, the event and party (if brain cells allow) are remembered, but it’s the Cup itself that often has the most ridiculous anecdotes to tell.
“It’s become tradition for someone to steal the trophy only shortly after being awarded,” says Osmond. “It’s become expected here at L6 headquarters to not see or hear of the Cup until the month or so before the upcoming competition.
“Photos come in that show the cup in very precarious circumstances,” he adds. “While none show the cup in any real danger, it’s all been in good fun and the cup always manages to come back and make an appearance.”
But he adds that they have reason to believe that the situation surrounding the Cup this year may be different, and very grave indeed. “There have been some disturbing images surfacing in the inbox’s here at Level Six,” he says. “They’re graphic and disturbing in nature, and leave everyone extremely concerned about the whereabouts and condition of the Cup.
“Everything’s all set for the event…the grandstands are booked, the toilets are booked, the permits and vendors are booked, paddling clubs are informed, chat boards have been notified, posters are designed, my favorite super mix 2009 is ready for the turntable, and the bar is ready,” he adds. “But by the evidence we’ve seen, it will be a miracle if the Cup surfaces at the banks of the Ottawa in time for this year’s event.”
For the record, last year’s winners were Tyler Curtis and Marianne.Saether, with Paul Danks taking home the C1 category. In 2007, it was Peter Csonka and Emily Jackson taking top honors in kayak, with Guillaume Larue wining C1.