Silly sailors take to the water for charity

By Spencer Sterritt
July 14, 2017 - 3:01pm Updated: July 16, 2017 - 7:57am

Boats line up down at Maffeo-Sutton Park for what may be a triumphant or quickly ended boat race. File photo/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — In the Silly Boat Regatta, it's less about who wins and more about who looks the best doing it.

There will be 38 boats in the water at Maffeo Sutton Park on Sunday, racing to a buoy and back before sinking.

“It gives everyone a chance to have lots of fun and be able to enjoy themselves,” Tracy Berg, who's one half of the dynamic duo with Michelle Kocourek planning the event, said.

Berg said the silliest boat she's even seen in the race was one built by chiropractors.

“It was an actual spine they did out of Styrofoam pieces and it was just crazy because it actually had the curvature like a big giant spine. There's also some shark boats we've had that look like Jaws coming out of the water. Those ones are always great."

Celebrating its 33rd year, the regatta has grown from its first race with only six boats to a “massive spectacle” which draws roughly 10,000 people a year.

The 2017 event is also the 50th anniversary of the Nanaimo Child Development Centre, who proceeds of the regatta are going towards.

Berg said the money will help every department at the centre, everything from purchasing needed items to hiring extra support workers, “anything we can do that will get our wait list (of 345 kids) down is where we want to use the money.”

A full schedule of Silly Boat Regatta events and free entertainment can be found online.

Boat construction gets underway at 8 a.m. and boats hit the water at 1 p.m.

 

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