Saturday, July 21st 2018, will go down in history as the day multiple recreational groups and industry sponsors set aside any differences to support the sport we all love and give back to the community! The mighty Niagara River sits on the boarder between the US and Canada. It’s wide banks and pristine fresh waters made it an excellent choice to hold our first ever 2018 CAN-AM RiDE! The day before the event, PWC enthusiasts from multiple countries began to arrive in Buffalo, NY to take part in the inaugural ride. Many were even given guided tours of our beautiful waterways prior to the event.
The morning of the ride, it was very clear that expectations were high since so many sponsors had graciously made donations and showed their support in a variety of different ways. Around 9am skis began to hit the water from multiple launch sites on both the US and Canadian shores. Strawberry Island, located in the Niagara River was the meeting location. As we approached the 10 o’clock hour, packs of skis all began to converge at the island. By this time it was clear that this event was larger than anything this region had ever experienced before!
Thankfully, the event had been sanctioned by the US Coast Guard so a broadcast was sent out warning other vessels in the area of what was about to go down. A riders safety meeting was conducted from the island to ensure all participants understood the ride rules. The WNY PWC admins, Take Point Now, and The Watercraft Network were in charge of containing “the pack” and guiding the group around any obstacles that may be present. Hand signals were used to communicate between all participants.
The plan was to ride 15 miles to Grass Island where all the swag and raffles would take place. As we began to leave strawberry island, the amount of skis on the water was simply breathtaking! During the ride, I remember looking back at the pack and seeing a wall of white wash from bank to bank, one of the coolest things I have ever seen! As we arrived at grass island, the boats that set up for our arrival were proudly displaying our sponsors banners and of course our WNY PWC flag. There was even a pontoon boat set up selling ice cream, burgers, Italian sausages and hotdogs!
Participants, began anchoring their skis in the thigh deep water and sand bottoms of Grass Island. We began handing out grab bags containing the official coin of the CAN-AM RiDE provided by Take Point Now and a raffle ticket to all participants. Each participant also received the official 2018 CAN-AM RiDE shirt provided by JetX and MotoOption. Once everyone got their stuff, we began raffling off all the donations our sponsors had donated. The best part, was that ever single participants number was called and we still had items to give out! With 111 signed waivers and still having more than enough goodies to hand out, we began tossing stuff out to the crowd which was an absolute blast!!
Once all the goodies, had been dispersed and everyone got their fill, we decided to commence the event allowing for participants to break off in packs to explore the region on their own, top off their tanks, get pictures above Niagara Falls etc. In the days following the ride, we began compiling all the drone footage, pictures and video for our official 2018 CAN-AM RiDE movie which can be found on YouTube. The amount of positive feedback we received was extremely humbling to say the least.
WNY PWC Owners is committed to supporting those who support us. We look forward to what the future has in store and friendships we will make along the way! I want to thank every one of our admins, family, friends, participants and most importantly our sponsors for making this event a complete success! We could have not done it without you! Stay tuned for our next big event by following us on Facebook and Instagram!