Skippers are getting ready to set sail for the annual Gray Creek Regatta at Crawford Bay this long weekend. The Saturday-Sunday event, held on Kootenay Lake in front of the Lakeview Store, is organized by the Nelson-based Kootenay Lake Sailing Association with Jim Reaburn as the race fleet captain.
The annual event typically sees 15 to 20 sailboats compete for the much-coveted trophy which boasts antlers and can be found resting in its place of distinction at the Gray Creek Store throughout the year.
And with so many boats setting sail, the regatta is popular with spectators as well.
The race course will be dictated by the winds. Buoys will be set out and Kim Deane will be on shore timing. The stronger the winds, the longer the course. Sailors will aim for a total of five races.
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, since 1975 this will be the 41st consecutive regatta. Deane and family help make this event run smoothly with support from Lois Wakelin and the Lakeview Resort.
The association holds many regattas during the spring and summer, as well as day races during winter months.
Saturday’s races run from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., while Sunday’s go from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.