Andrew Pederson

Andrew Pederson

Silly sailors suit up for annual fundraiser

NANAIMO – People will be sinking, swimming and floating for a good cause when the 2014 Silly Boat Regatta takes place Sunday (July 13).

People will be sinking, swimming and floating for a good cause when the 2014 Silly Boat Regatta takes place on Sunday (July 13).

The Nanaimo Child Development Centre fundraiser will see people constructing boats – silly boats as it were – and racing on the waters off Maffeo Sutton Park.

This is the second go-around for Andrew Pederson and the Landlubber Pub team and he sees the regatta as a good way to support the centre. Pederson’s team won its heat last year and finished fourth overall.

The team’s boat theme is closely tied to the pub name.

“Last year, we participated and we found success with our very streamlined, limited model,” said Pederson. “We use some big tires. We’re kind of a pirate-themed, landlubber, ‘Yar’ pub kind of thing. We have a mascot on top – it’s a parrot in a basket. It’s just four guys on the boat rowing as best we can.”

Nanaimo Filipino Canadian Association president Maru Schwager and her team will be embarking on its maiden voyage. She said taking part in the race is a good way for the organization to make a difference and be a part of the community.

The association’s boat will be a nod to its motherland as it will be modelled after a bahay kubo – a nipa hut or stilt house. While Schwager did say the association will be trying its best, she also said the team is above all else aiming to have a good time.

“We will try our best to win something but I think the main thing is for us, it’s just to have fun and be able to help the Nanaimo Child Development Centre to raise funds,” Schwager said. “If we win, that’s kind of a bonus, but if not, I think the main thing is we help and have fun.”

The Silly Boat Regatta began in 1984 when a radio station put on an event to aid the Show You Care Society. The development centre became sole organizers of the fundraiser in 1998 and raised more than $122,000 last year.

Money raised is used for the provision of programs and services for children identified with special needs.

Boats will be the draw at the Silly Boat Regatta on Sunday (July 13) but there will be other entertainment as well.

Wally’s World will be set up on the Maffeo Sutton Park site for youngsters.

“In Wally’s World, it’s free children’s activities, informational booths and things like that for families, so it’s just a fun kids area,” said Erica Horsfield, Nanaimo Child Development Centre communications officer.

While the adults will take to the waters at 1 p.m., there will be a chance for children to take part in a regatta of their own, according to Michelle Kocourek, centre resource development coordinator.

“The Children’s Mini Regatta is in the inner lagoon and [kids] have a mini boat kit, which they can build and decorate with feathers and paint and all sorts of stuff like that,” she said.

There will also be live music and dance performances.