Mayor Josie Osborne and her Tofino Tug-o-Whale team were bested by Ucluelet last year and Ukee is ready to defend their title.

Mayor Josie Osborne and her Tofino Tug-o-Whale team were bested by Ucluelet last year and Ukee is ready to defend their title.

Ucluelet prepares to battle Tofino for Bone of Contention

“We need to start getting our team together and doing some training.”

Mayor Dianne St. Jacques is prepping her council for their upcoming battle with Tofino.

The annual Tug-o-Whale competition, which pits the two communities on opposite ends of a rope with each side trying to heave it away from the other, is held during the Pacific Rim Whale Festival and the winning team earns the right to display the Bone of Contention in their council chambers for the year.

The unique trophy is crafted from a real whale bone.

Ucluelet won last year’s event and St. Jacques is building up stoke within Ucluelet’s council and staff to defend that title on March 11 at Wick Beach.

“I want you to write it in your calendar,” St. Jacques told her squad during Jan. 10’s’s council meeting. “We need to start getting our team together and doing some training.”

The Pacific Rim Whale Festival Society held its first meeting of 2017 on Jan. 6 and, St. Jacques said, the popular springtime event that kicks off the West Coast’s tourist season is coming together smoothly.

“Everything is coming along well, I think, with the festival,” she said. “We seem to be ahead of the game this year.”