Sinclair's Legacy Lives on at Duntroon Cross Country Ski Facilitysinclair's Legacy Lives on at Duntr

DUNTROON —Larry Sinclair’s legacy will continue to light the way for cross-country skiers, literally.

A

crowd-funding effort

to run lights along the trails of Highlands Nordic in memory of Sinclair, who died last month after a lengthy battle with cancer, has already surpassed its $25,000 goal —and more continues to pour in.

The fundraising idea is the brainchild of Highlands Nordic members Susie Saunderson and Richard Lemoine; Lemoine is also past-president of the Highland Trailblazers

“Larry had the idea about three years ago it would be good to light a portion of the trails,” Lemoine said. “We have high school kids here every night to train, and while this time of year it’s still bright, but in December by four o’clock, you need lights.”

He and Sinclair tried it five years ago, setting solar-powered garden lights along the trail. However, those only remained lit for about 30 minutes.

Lemoine said other cross-country courses have been hard-wired for lighting — an expensive proposition for a small club.

“The problem is you get voltage drop, so you end up either using cable that’s two-inches thick that costs $50 a foot, or you drop transformers everywhere and they cost about $10,000 each,” he said.

Lemoine has always experimented with electronics. He walked into a hobby shop he frequented and came across some 12-volt solar-powered LED lights.

He and Larry figured out a way to set it up, ran some tests, and were ready to roll it out this year before Sinclair became sick.

The decision to go ahead came after chatting with people about the best way to honour Sinclair’s legacy in the development of cross-country skiing, locally, and across the country.

“When he passed away, people talked and asked ‘what can we do?’ That was one of his dreams was the lights,” said Lemoine, a former president of Cross Country Canada.

Sinclair had started a program to get people to sponsor the lights for $300 each; however, it was Saunderson who suggested that a crowd-funding campaign would allow more people to donate smaller amounts.

While they were expecting $10 and $20 donations, one came it at $2,000. Another person contributed $1,000.

“I thought I’d ask politely, ‘did you make a mistake and thought you were donating $200’, and [the answer was] ‘no,’” Lemoine said.

There’s also another $10,000 that’s been given ‘offline.’ Lemoine said the outpouring of support for the project speaks to the respect Sinclair had in the sport.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Initially we were just going to do the crowdfunding for about $8,000.”

However, when they started thinking about it, they upped the goal to $24,000 – or about $3,000 per kilometre of trail that would be lit.

“It was almost like, ‘what would happen if,’” he said. “It was kind of like a stretch goal, and after the first day, [we realized] it wasn’t going to be much of a stretch.”

The group is now considering what else to do as a tribute to Sinclair, and the decision has been made to create a competitive course at the north end of the property. Work should begin this summer, and it will be ready for next winter.

“Larry really built race trails, and the recreational park came as an afterthought. These are some of the toughest trails in the country – there’s not one single hill where you get a free ride,” Lemoine said. “You never come down a one hill with enough speed to get up the next.

“Every [other] recreational trail has rollers, and a couple of hard pushes and you’re over the top.”

Logistically, when Highlands hosts a race, it has to close down to recreational skiers. Also, noted Lemoine, a true race trail has an uphill to finish, while Highlands finishes on a downgrade.

There would also be permanent timing facilities.

“It would be your ideal race course,” he said. “We would do it to Olympic standards.”

DUNTROON —Larry Sinclair’s legacy will continue to light the way for cross-country skiers, literally.

A

crowd-funding effort

to run lights along the trails of Highlands Nordic in memory of Sinclair, who died last month after a lengthy battle with cancer, has already surpassed its $25,000 goal —and more continues to pour in.

The fundraising idea is the brainchild of Highlands Nordic members Susie Saunderson and Richard Lemoine; Lemoine is also past-president of the Highland Trailblazers

“Larry had the idea about three years ago it would be good to light a portion of the trails,” Lemoine said. “We have high school kids here every night to train, and while this time of year it’s still bright, but in December by four o’clock, you need lights.”

He and Sinclair tried it five years ago, setting solar-powered garden lights along the trail. However, those only remained lit for about 30 minutes.

Lemoine said other cross-country courses have been hard-wired for lighting — an expensive proposition for a small club.

“The problem is you get voltage drop, so you end up either using cable that’s two-inches thick that costs $50 a foot, or you drop transformers everywhere and they cost about $10,000 each,” he said.

Lemoine has always experimented with electronics. He walked into a hobby shop he frequented and came across some 12-volt solar-powered LED lights.

He and Larry figured out a way to set it up, ran some tests, and were ready to roll it out this year before Sinclair became sick.

The decision to go ahead came after chatting with people about the best way to honour Sinclair’s legacy in the development of cross-country skiing, locally, and across the country.

“When he passed away, people talked and asked ‘what can we do?’ That was one of his dreams was the lights,” said Lemoine, a former president of Cross Country Canada.

Sinclair had started a program to get people to sponsor the lights for $300 each; however, it was Saunderson who suggested that a crowd-funding campaign would allow more people to donate smaller amounts.

While they were expecting $10 and $20 donations, one came it at $2,000. Another person contributed $1,000.

“I thought I’d ask politely, ‘did you make a mistake and thought you were donating $200’, and [the answer was] ‘no,’” Lemoine said.

There’s also another $10,000 that’s been given ‘offline.’ Lemoine said the outpouring of support for the project speaks to the respect Sinclair had in the sport.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Initially we were just going to do the crowdfunding for about $8,000.”

However, when they started thinking about it, they upped the goal to $24,000 – or about $3,000 per kilometre of trail that would be lit.

“It was almost like, ‘what would happen if,’” he said. “It was kind of like a stretch goal, and after the first day, [we realized] it wasn’t going to be much of a stretch.”

The group is now considering what else to do as a tribute to Sinclair, and the decision has been made to create a competitive course at the north end of the property. Work should begin this summer, and it will be ready for next winter.

“Larry really built race trails, and the recreational park came as an afterthought. These are some of the toughest trails in the country – there’s not one single hill where you get a free ride,” Lemoine said. “You never come down a one hill with enough speed to get up the next.

“Every [other] recreational trail has rollers, and a couple of hard pushes and you’re over the top.”

Logistically, when Highlands hosts a race, it has to close down to recreational skiers. Also, noted Lemoine, a true race trail has an uphill to finish, while Highlands finishes on a downgrade.

There would also be permanent timing facilities.

“It would be your ideal race course,” he said. “We would do it to Olympic standards.”

DUNTROON —Larry Sinclair’s legacy will continue to light the way for cross-country skiers, literally.

A

crowd-funding effort

to run lights along the trails of Highlands Nordic in memory of Sinclair, who died last month after a lengthy battle with cancer, has already surpassed its $25,000 goal —and more continues to pour in.

The fundraising idea is the brainchild of Highlands Nordic members Susie Saunderson and Richard Lemoine; Lemoine is also past-president of the Highland Trailblazers

“Larry had the idea about three years ago it would be good to light a portion of the trails,” Lemoine said. “We have high school kids here every night to train, and while this time of year it’s still bright, but in December by four o’clock, you need lights.”

He and Sinclair tried it five years ago, setting solar-powered garden lights along the trail. However, those only remained lit for about 30 minutes.

Lemoine said other cross-country courses have been hard-wired for lighting — an expensive proposition for a small club.

“The problem is you get voltage drop, so you end up either using cable that’s two-inches thick that costs $50 a foot, or you drop transformers everywhere and they cost about $10,000 each,” he said.

Lemoine has always experimented with electronics. He walked into a hobby shop he frequented and came across some 12-volt solar-powered LED lights.

He and Larry figured out a way to set it up, ran some tests, and were ready to roll it out this year before Sinclair became sick.

The decision to go ahead came after chatting with people about the best way to honour Sinclair’s legacy in the development of cross-country skiing, locally, and across the country.

“When he passed away, people talked and asked ‘what can we do?’ That was one of his dreams was the lights,” said Lemoine, a former president of Cross Country Canada.

Sinclair had started a program to get people to sponsor the lights for $300 each; however, it was Saunderson who suggested that a crowd-funding campaign would allow more people to donate smaller amounts.

While they were expecting $10 and $20 donations, one came it at $2,000. Another person contributed $1,000.

“I thought I’d ask politely, ‘did you make a mistake and thought you were donating $200’, and [the answer was] ‘no,’” Lemoine said.

There’s also another $10,000 that’s been given ‘offline.’ Lemoine said the outpouring of support for the project speaks to the respect Sinclair had in the sport.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Initially we were just going to do the crowdfunding for about $8,000.”

However, when they started thinking about it, they upped the goal to $24,000 – or about $3,000 per kilometre of trail that would be lit.

“It was almost like, ‘what would happen if,’” he said. “It was kind of like a stretch goal, and after the first day, [we realized] it wasn’t going to be much of a stretch.”

The group is now considering what else to do as a tribute to Sinclair, and the decision has been made to create a competitive course at the north end of the property. Work should begin this summer, and it will be ready for next winter.

“Larry really built race trails, and the recreational park came as an afterthought. These are some of the toughest trails in the country – there’s not one single hill where you get a free ride,” Lemoine said. “You never come down a one hill with enough speed to get up the next.

“Every [other] recreational trail has rollers, and a couple of hard pushes and you’re over the top.”

Logistically, when Highlands hosts a race, it has to close down to recreational skiers. Also, noted Lemoine, a true race trail has an uphill to finish, while Highlands finishes on a downgrade.

There would also be permanent timing facilities.

“It would be your ideal race course,” he said. “We would do it to Olympic standards.”

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