By Jaymie White
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
PORT AUX BASQUES – The results are in and Ryder Lomond Anderson is the winner of the Great Come Home Year Race. The race, which was open to participants from ages five to twelve under parental supervision, combined treasure hunting with local historical sites and was designed to build up excitement for the Come Home Year celebrations.
Every Monday beginning on May 9 and ending on Aug. 2, the Wreckhouse Weekly newspaper published a clue about where a hidden code can be found. Once discovered, the code was entered onto a racers tear sheet and would be needed on the final day to be able to solve the final puzzle, obtain their prize voucher, and claim their winnings.
All participants who solved the final puzzle won a prize package. Up for grabs were gift certificates, event passes, cash, and sweet treats. Those racers who finished in first, second, and third place, received a trophy. The first place prize package was valued at over $300.
The hidden codes remained in their locations for four days, Monday to Thursday, before being removed, so racers needed to be quick to get their code in order to solve the final puzzle. The clues were sometimes difficult, and this meant racers, who were not allowed to discuss clues with other teams, had to think outside the box and ask questions around town to figure out some of their locations.
There may have been a little rain on the final day of the race, but participants were all smiles when they figured out the final clue and made their way to the finish line to collect their prize.
Even after a slight coordinate mix up in the morning, the racers wasted no time.
Arriving just after 1:00 p.m., only an hour after the final clue was posted and even less time after the corrections were made, claiming first prize was 8-year-old Ryder Lomond Anderson who said he had a lot of fun participating in the race but the clue at the dog park was his favorite.
In second place was a brother and sister team, Iris and Jude Osmond. Jude pulled up minutes after Ryder to claim their prize package.
It was a family competition for first and second place finishers. They are cousins who were neck and neck throughout the whole race, right up to the final few minutes when one car sneaked ahead of the other.
Nikita Roberts, mother of the second place team, said it was hilariously cutthroat throughout the whole race and she wasn’t sure if it was more for the kids or the adults.
“She went one way. I saw her, and she blocked me off, then I went the other way and got stuck behind somebody who was going 20 the whole way, and I think Ryder got there two minutes before we did.”
There were no hard feelings between the adults who had just as much fun as the kids and were so excited for each other to finish the race in first and second place.
Jude said he and his sister had a lot of fun figuring out the clues and he couldn’t pick a favourite, but there was one that was exceptionally difficult – Knox Avenue Cemetery.
Jude said the weather in Port Aux Basques didn’t always cooperate for the racers.
“I remember one of the places actually, the wind blew it off, and we couldn’t figure out if it was a 60 or a 09.”
Rounding out the top three finalists was Tegan McPhee who arrived just before 1:30 p.m. to claim her prize package.
Tegan agreed with the other racers that it was a lot of fun and challenging at times. She couldn’t pick one clue that she liked the best. She loved all of the clues, and she was very excited to take home third place.
Congratulations to all of the racers!