Classic boats on show for weekend festival

Victoria Classic Boat Festival celebrates its 34th year this weekend, featuring up to 100 sail- and motor-powered vessels in Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

Victoria Classic Boat Festival celebrates its 34th year this weekend, featuring up to 100 sail- and motor-powered vessels in Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

“Well, the Classic Boat Festival in Victoria is probably the premier boat festival on the West Coast for wooden boats,” said Dan Martin, the honorary commodore along with his wife Marian.

“I’ve been a judge for years pertaining to equipment … and I’ve always admired the way they run the deal up there. Everybody’s friendly and the port is friendly to the boaters. It’s the proper way a city should be when people come.”

The annual event kicks off today (Sept. 2) and runs until Sunday (Sept. 4).

It closes with the festival’s highlight — a sailpast with classic boats departing the Inner Harbour and receiving a salute from the honorary commodores aboard HMCS Oriole.

On Saturday, the Gorge Rowing and Paddling Club will row through the Inner Harbour, ending at the Undersea Gardens for a regatta between 10 a.m. and noon. Then, at 2 p.m. is the steam boat parade, which graces the Gorge waterway.

After the sailpast on Sunday, from 1 to 4 p.m., the Schooner Cup and Open Sail races get underway.

During the event, the public is welcome to view the boats for free. Meanwhile, the registered boats will be judged by a 14-person panel who give awards in several categories, including Young Person, Old Boat, Best Tug Boat and Master of Disaster.

For more information, see www.classicboatfestival.ca.