Silly Boat Regatta competitors get ready for the start of a race during last summer’s event. This year’s regatta takes place Sunday, July 14, at Maffeo Sutton Park. (NEWS BULLETIN file photo)

Silly Boat Regatta set to make a splash in Nanaimo harbour

Community event, a fundraiser for the Nanaimo Child Development Centre, takes place Sunday, July 14

This year’s Silly Boat Regatta will mark a milestone in its efforts to support Nanaimo kids.

The 35th annual race will be held this Sunday, July 14, at Maffeo Sutton Park, when 43 teams of sailors will build boats in the park and then test their vessels’ seaworthiness with races in the harbour.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Nanaimo Child Development Centre.

The centre’s fundraising officer Tracy Berg said the 43 entries is an increase from last year.

“That’s really exciting for us,” she said. “It makes for busy heats. There’ll be lots of action going on down there.”

It also shows how the event has evolved since the inaugural race in 1984, when there were only about four boats competing, Berg said.

“It’s grown. We have anywhere between 8,000-10,000 people that are down at the park that day between the participants, the spectators and the volunteers, so it’s changed quite a bit.”

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