GRAVENHURST - It will be lead, follow or get out of the way as wheels, shoes and bells peal at Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst this weekend.
LOUD AND CLEAR.
Bracebridge town crier Bruce Kruger took part in the RMS Segwun's 125th birthday celebrations and now he's back for the town crier competition being hosted in Gravenhurst.
Photo by Neil Etienne
Fans of competition, at any pace, will have plenty to take in as two unique events take place in the Gravenhurst Triathlon and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Competition. The jubilee will pit 20 international town criers against each other under the gazebo from 11 a.m. through 12:15 p.m., then following a lunch break, heat up again from 2 until about 3:30 p.m.
Bruce Kruger, Bracebridge and Santa Village’s official town crier, organized the event, drawing competitors from across Canada, the U.S. and from even as far off as New Zealand. With this being both the Town of Gravenhurst and the RMS Segwun’s 125th anniversary year, criers will be required to give their best “cries” in honour of those occasions.
Each will have to perform two cries, one on each occasion, but Kruger explained they must also intertwine connections of the events to royalty in honour of the jubilee.
Kruger will be taking part and this time out, his son Shaun will be joining in as well, competing right alongside.
Father Kruger explained the criers will be judged on a wide array of elements, including their entrance and departure from stage, the content of the cry which must be between 100 and 125 words, their inflection and power, maintaining proper wording and pronunciation.
Prizes will also be awarded for the best dressed.
The triathlon, meanwhile, will see hundreds of expert, intermediate and even rookie racers pit their bodies against the elements and each other. Starting at about 8 a.m. Saturday, July 14, the two historical Gravenhurst-based steamships will ferry swimmers out into the bay for the Olympic-distance races to begin. This includes a 1.5-kilometre swim into shore, where races will cross Bay Street into the sports fields, gather their bikes and set off on a 40-km jaunt, before racing back to the wharf in a 10-km foot race.
MultiSport Canada’s technical director Jason Vurma, heading up the organizing, explained there will be other variations of the races throughout Saturday and Sunday, including a Give-it-a-Tri category for beginners, who can try their hand in a 40-metre swim, about a 10-km bike ride and 2.5 km run.
If anyone wants more information about the races, check out www.msctriathlon.com.