Sixteen boats competed on Kootenay Lake in the waters of Crawford Bay near the Lakeview store over the Labour Day weekend. Sunny weather resulted in steady winds that provided eight good races in the Gray Creek Regatta.
Thirteen cruising sailboats were divided into two groups. The five largest, fastest boats were in A fleet. Nelson sailors Jim Reaburn and Dave Heath were first and second, respectively, in Orbit, a J29, and Snooker, a Schock 35. Rossland’s Richard Streadwick placed third in Mischief, another Schock 35. Fourth was Rick Belfry of South Slocan in an Antrim 27 and fifth was Ted Funston of Nelson sailing single-handedly in a J29.
In the B fleet, the Richard Deane family of Rossland and East Shore placed first in Windsong, a San Juan 21. He was followed by Jay Blackmore and Glen Foy from Nelson placing second and third, respectively, sailing San Juan 30s. Gray Creek sailors placed fourth to sixth, with Tim Elias in a Kirby 25, Fred Schutter in a Coronado 25 and Colin Johnston in a San Juan 21, respectively. Mike Bowick of Nelson was seventh in a Catalina 27 and Lois Wakelin of Gray Creek was in eighth place in a Balboa 26.
In the dinghy fleet, two Hobie 18 catamarans held match races with Chris Jackson of Nelson ahead of Fritz Dau of Richland, Wash. Melissa Townsend was third in a home-built dinghy.
Overall winner was the Deane family in Windsong.
The event was organized by the Kootenay Lake Sailing Association based in Nelson, with support from Lois Wakelin and the Lakeview Store. The association holds many sailing regattas during the spring and summer, and some day races during winter months. The Gray Creek Regatta is the longest standing such event on Kootenay Lake, with roots in challenges between East Shore settlements dating back to 1923. In the modern era, this was the 38th consecutive regatta since 1975. The historic trophy is on display at the Gray Creek Store.