Get Silly at Nanaimo’s Annual Silly Boat Regatta

Events Nanaimo

Here’s a perfect recipe for summer family fun: adults in ridicule-worthy costumes + handmade boats of dubious seaworthiness + goofy boat names + an acre of activities for the kiddies when they grow bored of watching adults act their shoe size.

These Folks Sure Put the “Fun” in “Fundraising”

The happy result of this concoction is the annual Silly Boat Regatta, held each summer in Nanaimo, BC on Vancovuer Island to benefit the Nanaimo Child Development Centre (NCDC).  This non-profit organization annually serves more than 1,700 children with developmental challenges and their families.  Last year, the Silly Boat Regatta raised more than $100,000 to fund the NCDC’s programs and services.

The event is held at Maffeo Sutton Park – just a few blocks from downtown Nanaimo.  It’s free to spectators and is a big shindig; last year’s event drew more than 10,000.

Recycling Gets Silly

Boat-building begins at 8:00 a.m.  Teams of at least two people have four hours to create a boat from recycled materials, without the help of a kit or prefabricated hull.  Silliness is encouraged with awards for “Super Silliest” boat, costumes and sailors.  Goofy team names help, too.

I wonder who fared better last year, Canadian Western Bank’s team, the “Floating Rate” or The Oxy Pub & Liquor Store’s gang, the “Oxy Moronz.”

At the Silly Boat Regatta Even the Losers Can Win

After inspection from the judges, the heats begin with small groups of teams rowing or sailing their crafts in Swy-A-Lana Lagoon to the buoy in Nanaimo Harbour and back to the starting point. The team who rings the bell back on shore wins the heat.  The winners compete in the timed Grand Championship Race to determine the final winner.

But even the loser can win: there is a “First to Sink” award!

Oh, to be a Kid Again

The Silly Boat Regatta has well-organized events for children, including the Coast Capital Savings “Wally’s World” for face painting, crafts and games; McDonald’s Restaurants “Sports Zone” with various sports events and Woodgrove Centre’s “Children’s Mini Regatta” with mini boat building, games & colouring.  And it’s all free.

More Information

Here’s the link to the Silly Boat Regatta.  You can also call 250-753-0251 for more information.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Amazing Vancouver Island and a clickable link back to this page.

Publisher of Amazing Vancouver Island. Doug grew up in Kamloops and Vancouver. He is also the President of KIAI Angency, an Internet Marketing and Branding agency in Vancouver. He is an avid photographer and you can see his many pix of Vancouver Island on Flickr.

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