Winnipeg contest calls for 'wind-powered personal propulsion contraptions'

A new winter contest is inviting people to find creative ways to propel themselves along Winnipeg's river skating trail.
The first ever Winter Wind Derby will be held in February at The Forks in Winnipeg. (

A new winter contest is inviting people to find creative ways to propel themselves along Winnipeg's river skating trail.

The Forks launched the first-ever Winter Wind Derby on Thursday, throwing down a challenge that echoes the invention-age of Leonardo da Vinci.

"Designers, tinkerers, artists and everyday gadgeteers" are invited to concoct and enter their own "wind-powered, personal propulsion contraption," according to the contest.

How it works:

  • Design your propulsion contraption.
  • Register online through The Forks website.
  • Have your contraption ready to go for Feb. 5, 2016.
  • Wait for the call. When the winter wind conditions are just right, participants will be given 48 hours' notice of when and where to meet for the derby.
  • At the derby participants will attempt to "fly" down a portion of the Red River Mutual Trail. The one who goes the furthest will be crowned the winner.

"If Winnipeggers can relate to anything it's winter and wind," said Paul Jordan, CEO of The Forks Renewal Corporation.

"How many times have you gone skating and figured if you had a sail, the wind could carry you the whole way? This competition gets you thinking creatively to embrace our windy city instead of fear it."

The contest is another way for people to get out in a city where the rivers are frozen almost half of the year. And many of those activities already happen at, or are hosted by The Forks:

  • Winnipeggers crowd the skating trails that curve along the Assiniboine and Red rivers, wind through The Forks, circle under the canopy, and cross an old rail bridge.
  • The annual pop-up restaurant on the ice is always sold out in advance.
  • The warming hut contest is in its sixth year of attracting international designers to create architectural pieces along the skating trail.
  • Arctic Glacier Winter Park offers up toboggan and snow board hills.
  • The snow lounge along the skating trails on the rail bridge invite skaters to take a break on a couch or chair made entirely of snow.


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