The Maritime Heritage Centre’s seventh annual Discovery Passage Boat Rodeo takes place Sunday, Aug. 26, at Robert Ostler Park.
The fun starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m., with a wide variety of events and displays that will interest everyone in the family and, as always, it’s totally free to attend.
Watch as two-person teams of intrepid boat builders attempt to construct a boat in under four hours from materials costing no more than $90, then paddling it in a race around a set course, changing positions in the boat at the halfway mark, and trying not to sink into the Passage. This year, six or more teams have signed on to test their skills in the Build, Bail and Paddle and this is shaping up to be a great spectator event. Boat construction starts at 10:30 a.m., with the Big Race taking place at 2 p.m.
The Blind Rowboat Races are great fun too – two people in the boat, the rower is blindfolded, the other person gives directions to the rower to (hopefully) navigate the course. Sounds easy, but it never seems to work out that way. If you think you’re up to it, you can sign up before the event and give it a try. The action starts at 1:30 p.m.
The Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society will be there once again, racing in an officially sanctioned World Championship event. This year the course will be set up so the tubbers will never be out of sight and you’ll see all the action. There will be heats for stock and modified tubs. The tubbers race for points and at the end of the season the winners in each class are presented with the World Championship trophies. The first heat will take place at noon, with the second starting at 1 p.m.
Between the events, the always popular Boom Boats (or Sidewinders) will be performing their “Boom Boat Ballet”, and you can take a tour of the Coast Guard’s 47-foot Cape Palmerston with its twin 450 hp engines. Be sure and visit the displays and demonstrations by the Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue, the Boat Modelling Club, Bill Howich RV, the Power Squadron, Outdoor Addictions, Kayaks Unlimited and rope making demos by Ruedi Pletscher. There’ll be facepainting by Magical Faces and a Bounce-a-Rama for the little ones too.
When you get hungry, you can grab a burger or hot dog in support of the Head Injury Support Society, enjoy some Kettle Corn, Cotton Candy or other treats. The Maritime Heritage Society will be selling soft drinks as well.
Dan Teloski, chair of the event, says there may be some other surprises as well. In the past, tug boats, coastal transport craft, fish farming transports, the RCMP boat and others have been on hand for people to tour. As these are all working boats, if there’s work for them to do, they won’t be available – but he’s got his fingers crossed.
On air personalities from 99.7 The River will be on hand looking after emcee duties, and promise to keep the entertainment factor and the energy level high.
The Discovery Passage Boat Rodeo is presented by the Maritime Heritage Society in celebration of our link to the sea. Major sponsors include the Campbell River Mirror, Grieg Seafood, Seymour Pacific Developments and 99.7 the River.