The city of Nanaimo B.C., is known as the harbour city. This month it more than earned that moniker.
Three events took place in the month of July. First was the Dragon Boat Festival. Started in 2003 as a means of bringing cancer survivors together to join in a common social endeavor. Today it is a fund raiser for cancer detection equipment for the Nanaimo Hospital foundation.
The next event is billed as the Silly Boat Regatta. In its 34th year, its goal is to raise money for the Child Development Centre which help children with disabilities. This event is just a hoot. Silly boats, silly costumes. Actual boat construction starts at 8:00am the day of the race, to be ready to put in the water by 1:00pm. To coin a phrase, ‘build it and they will come,’ viewing room was at a premium, but I got lucky and elbowed my way to the rail.
The third and final event is the International World Championship Bathtub Race and Nanaimo Marine Festival.
The first race took place in 1967, and took a course from Nanaimo to Vancouver. In the last couple of years it has been run in a loop, up the coast from Nanaimo, in the Salish sea and back. Well represented by local tubbers, it also draws competitors from around the world. Competitors, both male and female, can race in a number of different categories, from stock to super modified.