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Old Posted Jan 25, 2008, 7:13 PM
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Donovanf Donovanf is offline
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City expects to have world's longest rink

Updated at 1:03 PM

By Dave Rogers

By Saturday, Winnipeg expects to have the world's longest skating rink, measuring more than a kilometre longer than Ottawa's Rideau Canal Skateway.
The people who run the River Trail rink in Winnipeg are so confident their rink is the longest that they obtained a form from the Guinness Book of Records to prove it.

Paul Jordan, manager of The Forks market in downtown Winnipeg, says the city's River Trail rink is already nine-kilometres long, far longer than Ottawa's 7.8-kilometre canal Skateway. Winnipeg organizers are employing a lawyer, engineer, architect and a city police officer to measure the River Trail, using GPS and a wheeled measuring device.

Jordan said Winnipeg will simply make its rink longer if it doesn't measure up. Once the city has the record it will "market the heck out of it" in a bid to attract more tourists.

Teams of eight university students armed with snow shovels worked in shifts around the clock for three weeks to clear a six-kilometre trail along the Red and Assiniboine rivers through the city core. Then the Winnipegers brought in plows, powered brushes and ice surfacing machines when the ice became thick enough.
The National Capital Commission, which opened the Rideau Canal Skateway today, isn't overly concerned about a possible new record in Winnipeg.

Ottawa's trump card is the Rideau Canal's World Heritage status

"In Ottawa, we are skating on a World Heritage Site as recognized by UNESCO," said NCC spokeswoman Kathryn Keyes of the Rideau Canal Skateway. "There is no experience like skating through the capital on a world icon."

The Ottawa Skateway was officially recognized by Guinness World Records in August 2005. It starts at the National Arts Centre and ends with a loop at Dow's Lake.

"Our world record is for the world's largest naturally frozen ice surface," said Keyes.

"The Guinness people looked at three criteria: the length, which is 7.8 kilometres, the width and the skating experience. They calculated the surface at 165,621 square metres of surface area, which is the equivalent of 90 Olympic size hockey rinks."

Canwest News Service--Ottawa Citizen
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