10k - SUP
17k - OC1 / OC2 / OC6 / Surfski / Kayak / SUP
Course Navigation Challenges
Gibraltar Point - Shallow Rocks
On the north-west side of Gibraltar Point, just off the beach, huge boulders have been placed for shore protection. These are all fully submerged, but lead to some very shallow water and potential for broken rudders/paddles. The good news is it’s easy to stay out of the area, as it’s all demarcated by giant yellow pylons - and the TIOC race course doesn’t naturally lead into that area anyway.
Beach - Surf
On the south side of Centre Island, just south of the beach, the waves get piled onto the beach and with heavier conditions will break into a dangerous surf. Stay wide/south to avoid the break.
Eastern Gap - Unstable Conditions
Within both Gaps the waves are unstable in big conditions, as the Harbour conditions are usually quite different than outside the Islands, and the Gaps are the inflection zones. The Eastern Gap can be especially jarring when navigating from inside the Harbour to the outside, as you’ll be paddling from a protected area behind the Island into a large swell funneling into the Eastern Gap from a big west or south wind (east winds tend to get subdued by the Tommy Thompson Spit).
Harbour - Traffic
Toronto harbour is always a busy area, which includes commercial ferries and water taxies crossing back and forth. Avoid all commercial traffic.
Airport Exclusion Zones
Stay out of the area at each end of the Island Airport runway – harbour side and also to the west of Hanlan’s Beach – demarcated by white buoys.
Western Gap - Unstable Conditions / Ferry
Due to the water funneling and wave bounce the conditions in here tend to be unstable mixed chop. The Airport ferry makes ongoing crossings between the mainland and the Island. Because the channel is so narrow, when the ferry crosses there isn’t much room to maneuver, and you may need to come to a complete stop until the ferry passes through.
Breakwall - Bounceback
Especially with south wind conditions, the area outside the breakwall bounces back the incoming waves and creates a ‘washing machine’ effect in the waves. This is more pronounced in the area from the shoreline to about 1.5 km from shore. Given that this forms a large part of the race course, there’s nothing you can do to avoid this area, we’re just listing it as a point of note.