OpeningDay in Boundary Bay

Published on Thu, May 4, 2006 by Carol Hogan

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Opening Day in Boundary Bay

By Carol Hogan

Saturday’s opening day boating activities were hot and the weather cold while Sunday was “almost tropical” with sun and light wind around Boundary Bay, according to participants in the International Yacht Club’s annual Semiahmoo Bay International Regatta last weekend, all part of the Festival of the Wind, Waves and Water at White Rock, B.C.

For Saturday’s long-distance TD Canada Trust Race, cold was a concern as participants started off the pier in clear weather and headed into the wind. The multihull fleet was the last to start as April showers moved in, and the fast boats soon disappeared into the squall with the rest of the fleet.

“The rain was coming down so hard it was bouncing off the water,” said one crew member.

Simultaneously, the rain, wind and chop was messing up the onshore scheduled activities including dragon boat racing, a kite festival, trade show, children’s painting contest and boat building.

Before they reached the buoy off Alden Bank, two trimarans dismasted and notified the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Simultaneously the Delta DEAS Dragon Flies novice female crew started their 250 meter Dash for Charity but encountered two large waves near the finish. The boat swamped and all 20 occupants – paddlers, drummer and helmsman – sank to their waists in icy water. The dismastings and swamping kept the auxiliary busy
The Coast Guard assisted the paddlers and the women made it to the pier, shivering but safe. They were met by paramedics with armloads of warm blankets. Thirty-six boat crews were scheduled to participate but, as conditions worsened Dragon boat racing was canceled for the day.

Undaunted, the British Columbia Kitefliers Association launched a few kites while many more were staked to the wet grass. A few hardy skim boarders slid across the offshore tidal pools as though it were a hot summer day.

Sunday’s weather was pronounced “beautiful” for the Bill Van Den Borne Memorial Race around-the-buoys and other shore side activities. And at the awards presentation and barbecue at Blaine Marina sailors filled the air with animated sea stories of opening day.