One of our favourite events of the entire year, the Victoria Classic Boat Festival returns to the inner harbour this weekend.
For all participants: The Friday Reception will be held from 1800hrs to 2000hrs at the Maritime Museum of BC in Bastion Square – just a short walk up Government Street from the Inner Harbour. Hoist a glass of good cheer and exchange yarns with your mates.
Classic Rowing Regatta
Saturday, September 3rd, 10 a.m. – noon
The boats will launch from the Gorge Rowing and Paddling Club starting the race just before the Gorge Narrows and finishing at the Undersea Gardens.
See the unique steamboats cruise the Gorge Waterway on Saturday from 1400 hrs onwards.
The weekend’s highlight! Sunday, September 04. All participants cast off at 1045 hrs., file out of the Inner Harbour, and parade past the Salute Vessel to take the salute of the Honorary Commodore. Please attend the Skippers’ meeting Sunday at 0900 hrs. on the Lower Causeway for details. Learn more about the sailpast.
Schooner, Classic Open and one Design races. Starts for the races will sound following the Sailpast.
One Design Race includes Sailorettes, Folkboats, Cubs, 6-Metres, 8-Metres, Stars, Blanchard Knockabouts, Spitzgatters, Concordias, etc.
The Salute Vessel
Recognized by her lean white hull, HMCS ORIOLE symbolizes the romance and tradition of sail for many thousands of Victoria residents.
The 101-foot HMCS ORIOLE is a true classic. Built as a private yacht from a design by George Owens of New York for Mr. G.H. Gooderham, Commodore of Toronto’s Royal Canadian Yacht Club, she was launched in June 1921 as ORIOLE IV. At that time she was fitted with a center board and had no bowsprit in keeping with her intended use for Great Lakes cruising and racing. However, at the start of the Second World War, the Toronto branch of the Navy League of Canada acquired ORIOLE.
She was used to train sea cadets on the Great Lakes until 1949 when she was moved to the Maritimes for sail training for new entry seamen. In 1952 she was formally commissioned as HMCS ORIOLE. In 1954, she sailed for Esquimalt, British Columbia via the Panama Canal and became a sailing tender to HMCS VENTURE, the Naval Officer Training Centre. Since then, HMCS ORIOLE has been continuously employed in sail training on the Pacific Coast – the longest serving ship in the Canadian Navy. In her training role as well as that of ocean racer and good-will ambassador for both the Canadian Armed Forces and Western Canada, HMCS ORIOLE has logged many thousands of kilometres.
HMCS ORIOLE generally cruises the waters surrounding Vancouver Island, which are some of the most interesting year-round sailing waters in the world. She is available to all units of the Canadian Armed Forces for sail and adventure training. Keen racing competition supplies the final test for most training classes.
Victoria Harbour Ferries will have a full service all weekend: Tours and Water Taxi. A great way to see all the classic vessels.
Final Water Ballet
Marking the wind down of the summer season, this Sunday come down to the inner harbour causeway for the final Victoria Harbour Ferry Water Ballet. Every Sunday morning from May to September, the little boats line up at 10:45 AM, in front of the Victoria Causeway in front of the Empress Hotel and begin their dance. You will never see a ballet like this one anywhere else in the world, as the proud little ships and a proud team of Harbour Ferry Captains seek to entertain everyone who looks on.