This year we’re celebrating 10 fantastic years of The Great Fogo Island Punt Race, the 50th anniversary of the Fogo Island Cooperative, and the 150th anniversary of Confederation. We hope you’ll join the festivities and race with us this year!
There have been many highlights of our 10-year history. At first, everyone wondered if it could be done – a 10-mile race from Fogo Island to Change Islands and back, on the open ocean, in a traditional wooden punt. When our first rowers succeeded, the next year it was a question of how fast it could be done, and as the years went on our number of competing rowers grew. From 2007-2009 we got involved with our local school, Fogo Island Central Academy, with the Shorefast Foundation sponsoring a punt building course for youth with master boat builders Melvin Combden and Aidan Penton. In 2010, we received the Manning Award for Excellence in the Public Presentation of Historic Places in recognition of our work.
But our greatest accomplishment by far has been the creation of many new punts resulting from our race, built or commissioned by competing rowers, which has helped to preserve our heritage. By creating a fun community event using the punt, an integral piece of our culture and history, we have been able to see the value of old ways and bring them into contemporary times. This is important as we consider our future on Fogo Island, and our future as a country.
In celebration of Canada 150, this year we’ve changed our race colours to red and white, and we’re encouraging rowers to wear red and white on race day. This July 15th will be a celebration of Canada, of the punt, and of 10 years of the Great Fogo Island Punt Race. Whether as a competitor or a visitor, we hope you’ll join us for the party.
Race registration is due on June 15th. Visit our Registration Page for more information.