CANADIAN GP – FRIDAY PRACTICE
First Practice session: 1:14.861, Position: 7, Laps: 19
Second Practice Session: 1:13.388, Position: 5, Laps: 25
“It wasn’t the cleanest of days but in terms of performance I think we were OK. Before the stoppage in P2 it was a positive session, we felt like we had good pace and weren’t far off the top four. This is nice to see at this track as it usually is not one of our favourites, we can be pleased with that I guess. The short runs were good and the updates seem to have given us something a little extra, with such long straights here it is always going to be difficult for us. We are not yet fast enough to beat the top two teams so we do our best to finish fifth and optimise what we have. We still need to investigate what the issue with the car was but I’m sure the boys will have it ready to go again tomorrow.”
First Practice Session: 1:15.441 Position: 9, Laps: 23
Second Practice Session: 1:15.072, Position: 15, Laps: 8
“A bit of an uneventful day to be honest as I didn’t get a whole lot of running. We had a bit going on this morning and then had an engine issue this afternoon. The positive is that Max’s pace on the ultra softs looked pretty good, so hopefully we’ll learn a bit more from their set up tonight and then push on for tomorrow. I doubt we got a lot of long run data today but at least Max did some good short runs. For me, we’ll take a little bit from today but we obviously didn’t get too many uninterrupted flying laps. But that’s okay, because I’ve driven this track before so I’ll just get into it tomorrow morning.”
A Raft of Adventurous Tales
For reasons we haven’t quite figured out, this week in Montreal is mostly about messing about in boats. On Wednesday our drivers, and their Toro Rosso counterparts, ran the Lachine Rapids and tomorrow the whole paddock – with one or two exceptions – will revive the great Canadian GP tradition of a teams’ raft race in the rowing basin. In honour of the great adventure to come, today we present a few inspirational tales of waterborne derring-do, including one featuring a particularly amazing Canadian.
- Longest Raft Race – Since 1999 The Great River Amazon Raft Race has been staged annually since 1999 between Nauta and Iquitos in Peru. Originally covering 180 km (112 miles), the race has been extended over the years and prior to the 2013 edition the 200 km event was recognised as the world’s longest by the Guinness Book of Records. Teams from around the world have a single day to construct log rafts using eight 15-foot long telephone pole-sized balsawood logs and other supplies such as twine, machetes, nails, and locally scavenged goods. They then spend three days racing down the river. This year’s version starts on October 5.
- The Longest Raft Journey – Following on from Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 effort to prove that South Americans could have populated Polynesia, in 1973 a group of similarly brave souls decided that it was worth seeing if those intrepid South Americans might have made it all the way to Australia. The Las Balsas expedition saw 12 men set off on three primitive rafts across the Pacific Ocean, and 15,000km (9,300 miles) and 178 days later their proved their point, landing in Ballina, New South Wales.
- A Corking Adventure – In the summer of 2002, America John Pollack had a dream – a rather weird dream. The one-time speechwriter for none other than Bill Clinton decided that more than anything he wanted to take the 70,000 corks he’d collected since childhood and build a boat out of them. Teaming up with architect Garth Goldstein the pair eventually used 165,321 corks to build a two-ton, 27-foot craft that they then sailed from the northern Portuguese city of Barca d’Alva, to the seas on an improbable, 17-day journey on the Douro River. Why Portugal? It was then the world’s largest producer of corks. Obvious really. And what was it like? According to Pollack: “It was huge and unwieldy. At times we were rowing as hard as we could and were getting nowhere. It was like a hippopotamus with oars, but eventually we began to appreciate its subtle ballet.
- The Longest Paddle – Canadian Don Starkell was an amazing adventurer and prior to his death in 2012 claimed to have paddled more miles than anyone, ever. He was probably right too, for in 1980 he undertook perhaps his greatest trip – paddling a 6.4m (21-foot) canoe from his home in Winnipeg, Manitoba to the mouth of the Amazon at Belem. The journey, a staggering 20,000km was started in the company of his two sons, Jeff and Dana, but as the dangers mounted, Jeff abandoned ship in Mexico. It’s not surprising, as aside from encounters with snakes and sharks, they had run-ins with Nicaraguan rebels, drug runners, and Honduran robbers before reaching their final destination. Ten years later Starkell set out on another insane mission – to solo paddle the Northwest Passage. “I felt that, yes, I’m in agony. I’m in pain and I’m dying, and all that, but so many times I was fighting with myself — should I release myself and go into my final sleep?” he told The Journal of Canadian Wilderness Canoeing. “I said to myself that I don’t care how painful, but my life is going to have to be taken. I am not going to release it.” Top man.