Team Ramrod

Team Ramrod

Youbou Regatta: swim races fun for the whole family

Saturday, August 11, Cowichan Lake Recreation will be hosting the annual Youbou Regatta

On Saturday, August 11, Cowichan Lake Recreation will be hosting the annual Youbou Regatta.

Starting with the pancake breakfast at 8 a.m., courtesy of the Youbou Fire Department, organizers have planned a full day of activities for the whole family.

This is Youbou’s biggest event of the year, attracting tourists and locals alike. “We usually get between four and 600 people out at the (Arbutus) park if the weather is good. It was beautiful last year and we’re praying hard for that again,” said Linda Blatchford, manager of Cowichan Lake Recreation.

The fireman’s pancake breakfast runs until 10 a.m. at the Youbou Firehall, at which time the parade will begin marshalling at the Youbou Hall. The parade will begin at 10:30 a.m., and will make its way to Arbutus Park.

“We invite anyone to take part,” said Blatchford. “Just show up at the Youball Hall and talk to Tara Daly, this year’s parade marshal.”

Prizes will be given to the best group, couple, individual and commercial floats.

The parade is short, but colourful with an impressive number of floats including not only local RCMP and fire departments, Country Grocer, and the Lady of the Lake ambassadors, but also kids and adults, bikes and pets, and many others.

After the parade, organizers kick off the rest of the event with activities focused in Arbutus Park.

Event times are approximate as they can depend on how many participants take part.

One of the more notable events is the annual Clarence Whittingham Memorial 1/4 mile swim and 1/2 mile canoe races.

The swim’s namesake, who was a resident of the area until he died in the 1990s, was known for operating a tugboat on Cowichan Lake since the 1940s.

Music in the park will once again feature David and Mary Lowther’s Without a Net. The couple has performed for music in the park for the past few years.

Other events taking place will be the three on three volley ball tournament starting at 11:30 a.m., swim races at 12:30 p.m., chalk art contest, kids games, and a watermelon eating contest.

The day will finish off with the belly flop and cannon ball contest at 3:15 p.m., and the lifeguard relay challenge starting at 3:45 p.m.

If the adults want to continue on into the evening the Youbou Regatta Dance at the Youbou Hall will be shaking things up with canned music courtesy of Vikki Ordano, who has DJed the event for the past few years.

The dance will begin at 9 p.m., at the Youbou Hall. Tickets will be $8 at the door, and are also available at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena, and Youbou’s two convenience stores.

The day’s events themselves are free, courtesy of local taxpayers’ contributions to Cowichan Lake Recreation.