UnNews:Seattle canoe race ends in controversy

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Seattle canoe race ends in controversy

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17 May 2015


Canoeists reacted in anger by re-enacting a Zulu war dance with paddles.

SEATTLE, Washington -- A large canoeing event staged here ended in bickering and disgrace, when it turned out that the main race had been won by a solar-powered barge. Hundreds of amateur canoeing enthusiasts had gathered in Elliot Bay. The canoeist's version of a flash mob was organized by Greenpeace.

The event included barbeques, cake sales, anti-oil drilling protests and car-boot sales. It culminated in a giant slalom race which started at a slipway ramp, did two laps of the docks, went through the legs of an oil rig and finished back at the slipway.

The race was won by the boat sponsored by Greenpeace, registered as Canoe 374. However, inspection of the craft after the race by members of the International Canoeing Federation revealed that the canoe did not meet the technical specifications for a canoe, as it was found to be 52 ft longer than a canoe and 6 ft wider. The roof of the canoe was covered in solar panels and a battery was found on board, concealed between the wheel and the cargo hold. Both of these clues suggest that the canoe had been powered by a motor and not by mere human strength.

Many of the competitors were shocked when, despite this evidence, the barge was still granted victory in the race. A canoeist who would only give his name as Michael said, "It's an absolute disgrace. I'm shocked at the decision. It's as outrageous as if, say, Shell were granted permission to start drilling for oil in the Arctic when scientists have repeatedly warned of the environmental dangers of doing so." Other canoers were equally outraged at the winning "canoe" protesting a large corporation flouting the rules by flouting the rules. Michael himself had made canoeing history when he became the first man to canoe up Mount Everest, which he did using an electric heater to melt the ice and a spear-tipped paddle.

Greenpeace had no comment on the solar-powered barge and instead issued a statement blaming Shell's oil rig for getting in the way of the racing course. Next year, the event is to be held at a whaling station in Japan where hopefully the harsh weather should prevent solar panels from working.

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