In early 2018, the Canadian branch of Trilite by [OPTI] was approached by some local race organizers, and long-time friends, about sponsoring the Kingston to Ottawa 200 (K2O) Paddling Race. K2O is an endurance race held on the Rideau Canal waterway by canoeing, paddle boarding, or kayaking day and night within a 36 hour time limit to reach the finish. It starts in Kingston, Ontario and ends in Ottawa, Ontario at the Flora Footbridge, 200km away. Racers with all skill levels come as soloist or teams, to navigate through lakes, rivers, canals and 20 portages along the race route. If a racer or team were not up for the full challenge of the entire 200km, there is the option of three other events within the race culminating at 100km, 50km or 25km.
As a sponsor, we could donate money, or do something even better with our sponsorship. We decided the best use of our resources would be to design and manufacture a custom starting/finishing gate for the race itself. Our talented CAD designers had to come up with a concept that would make this a free standing rig that could be seen by all sponsors, event organizers and racers. We also wanted this to be able to support banners and advertisements from other sponsors that are a part of the race. They took that challenge and came up with the design you see in the photos. This rig stands over 20’ tall, with four large ‘wings’ used as outriggers to support the rig. These ‘wings’ also double as the banner and advertisement area.
In return for this generous sponsorship, the race organizers suggested that we design our own banner and use it as the backdrop for all racers participating in the event. One of our own local employees had the undertaking of coming up with a large banner worthy of the rig that incorporates as much of what we do without being too busy. The result can be seen in the photos provided by the event coordinators and was a huge hit with all racers and event attendees. Trilite by [OPTI] was also listed on the bibs of four racers/teams, one of which competed in the full 200km distance of the race and clocked in at 26 hours, 6 minutes, and 44 seconds; a very impressive time and top 5 finish for 2018.
Event coordinators for K2O are hopeful that in coming years the race attracts more and more racers and sponsors. The Trilite starting gate will be used for years to come, showcasing the versatility and longevity of Trilite products. The next race is scheduled for 2020 and we as a sponsor hope to see everyone come out and support their favourite racer or team.
More pictures on kingston2ottawa.ca