Silly Boat Regatta

Silly Boat Regatta, Nanaimo

Each year on a Sunday in mid-July, Nanaimo celebrates its Silly Boat Regatta at the Swy-A-Lana Lagoon downtown. Several dozen groups of enthusiasts paddle furiously around a buoy in Nanaimo Harbour in flimsy watercraft assembled on the spot before the eyes of curious spectators. Upon returning to shore, participants must ring a bell to signal completion of the heat.

Only recycled materials may be used in the construction and boat kits or motors are not allowed. The team members have only four hours to build their boats, starting at 9:00am with the first race at 1:00pm sharp. All proceeds from sponsors go to the Nanaimo Child Development Centre. The Silly Boat Regatta is a chaotic spectacle and a boatload of fun to watch or do.

To view the photos, click on the thumbnails below.
Nanaimo Regatta Plants and Tanks Nanaimo Regatta Boy Scout Nanaimo Regatta No Barriers Nanaimo Regatta Shawattack

Plants & Tanks was put together in 20 minutes.

A Boy Scout contemplating the construction job.

No Barriers, entry of the Child Development Centre.

Female mariners carefully building ShawArk Attack.

Nanaimo Regatta The Spectators Nanaimo Regatta Prehistoric Paddlers Nanaimo Regatta Bell Nanaimo Mayor Frank Ney

All of Nanaimo comes out to witness this stirring event.

The slow-motion launch of Prehistoric Paddlers.

Race officials watching over the regatta bell.

Saluting Frank Ney, founder of the Marine Festival.

Nanaimo Regatta Speedy Start Nanaimo Regatta Halfway Buoy Nanaimo Regatta Collision Nanaimo Regatta Various Teams

Human-powered serious contenders off to a speedy start.

Chaos as opposing teams claw their way around the buoy.

A collision sends the VisionArts Eyecare team to the bottom.

A collection of eight Silly Boat Regatta photos.

Nanaimo Regatta First to Finish Nanaimo Regatta First to Sink Nanaimo Regatta Super Silliest Sailors Nanaimo Regatta Super Silliest Boat

The sturdy vessel of the Nanaimo News Bulletin came in first.

The Acme Food Co. Ltd. craft sank then finished upside down.

The Super Silliest mermaid had to be carried to the bell.

The Super Silliest Boat, designed by Lauren Cross.

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