Nicole Sugiyama

Nicole Sugiyama

Silly sailors ready to raise money

NANAIMO - The Silly Boat Regatta takes place for the 31st time Sunday (July 19) at Maffeo Sutton Park in Nanaimo.

A time-honoured Nanaimo tradition will take place for the 31st time this weekend, and as always, it promises to be silly.

The 2015 Silly Boat Regatta, Nanaimo Child Development Centre’s flagship fundraiser, begins 1 p.m. on Sunday (July 19) at Maffeo Sutton Park and according to Michelle Kocourek, organizer, there have been many interesting entries over the years.

“One of my favourite boats through the years was Serious Coffee,” said Kocourek. “They did a coffee cup … it was hilarious. Now it did go in circles. It didn’t go straight forward, right away, but I think that’s probably one of my favourite boats.”

There are always boats that look good, but don’t perform well in water, according to Kocourek.

“Again, you never know what you’re going to get. Some of them look great on land and you get them on the water and they flip, or you flip. It’s the fun and it’s the silliness and it’s the team spirit that comes through and it’s all for a great cause,” she said.

Generations Church was last year’s grand champion and while team captain Dave Boyce wouldn’t divulge this year’s build, he said there is a happy theme and planning is ongoing.

“We literally come down to going into the larder and seeing what’s there, so definitely got to go for the renovations as to what part of recycled goods we’ve got hiding in the storage area,” said Boyce, with a laugh

Elise Morgan, former silly boat organizer and captain of the Young Professionals of Nanaimo team, said the race scene can be comical.

“In the water, it’s quite wild to see so many people out, trying to paddle boats that are made out of nothing that looks like boats and it’s quite funny to see so many people end up in the water,” said Morgan.

The child development centre will have an entry Sunday and members want to embody the spirit of the event.

“The consensus [was] staff do not want to win,” said Kocourek. “They’re not going for the win, they’re going for fun.”

All proceeds go to the centre and will be used for programs and services, assisting children with special needs.

Approximately $118,007 was raised last year and Kocourek said the goal is $125,000 this year.

For more information, please see www.sillyboat.com.