Marine Students Participate in 2023 Skills Ontario Competition

OPE Contest

May 8, 2023

The 2023 Skills Ontario Competition was held at the Toronto Congress Centre May 1 – 2. The competition draws over 40,000 students, competitors and visitors over the course of two days. This is Canada’s largest skilled trades and technologies competition that features over 76 different contests alongside elementary workshops. 

Skilled Trades Event

Rob Davidson (the Provincial Technical Chair) and Roy King (Co-Chair) are the heads of the Outdoor Powered Equipment Contest. This year they were in charge of designing and setting up six competitions that hosted 24 high school and six post-secondary student competitors. The contest was held on May 2nd.


Two students, Xander Powell and Matt LaRiviere, were in attendance from the Marine Engine Mechanic program at Georgian College. Rob Davidson is also a Professor and Program Coordinator for the program.   

The Outdoor Powered Equipment Contest includes marine, small engine, motorcycle and powersports equipment. Students competed in six tests that were 85% practical and 15% theory based. They had one hour to complete each test before moving onto the next. The tests were as follows:

1. 2-Stroke Engine Mechanical Operation 
2. 2-Stroke Engine Troubleshooting 
3. Fuel System and Carburetor Repair 
4. Electrical Wiring and Troubleshooting 
5. 4-Cycle Engine Troubleshooting 
6. Theory 

The gold medal winners, one high school and one post-secondary student, will move on to represent Team Ontario at the Skills Canada National Competition, May 24 – 27 in Winnipeg. The closing ceremonies were held on May 3rd after the two days of competition. Students were competing for gold, silver and bronze medals, as well as monetary awards and job offers in select contest areas. 

Xander Powell GoldXander Powell from Georgian College won gold at the Skills Competition! He comments on his favourite part of the marine industry: “Everything’s different. Every day is different. Every day is a new day.”

Xander Powell won gold and Matt LaRiviere placed 4th in a close race for bronze! Congratulations to both for your hard work and well-earned finishes.




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