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Gray Creek Sailing Regatta celebrates 100 Anniversary

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
August 29th, 2023

This weekend, the waters on the east side of Kootenay Lake will be filled with boats as organizers welcome skippers to the 100th Anniversary of the Gray Creek Sailing Regatta, September 2nd-3rd.

The Kootenay Lake Sailing Association is hosting this event at Gray Creek.

Sailors from Nelson, Castlegar, Gray Creek, and Vancouver will be participating.

On average, about 13 boats with crews of approximately four will be competing.

Gray Creek Regatta History

The original regatta ran until 1925 and then went into hiatus until 1974 when it was resurrected as a sailing regatta.

The first regatta of the modern era had eight entrants and was run from a Volkswagen camper van parked on the beach on the beach in front of the Deane’s cabin with the horn serving to signal the starts and finishes.

The regatta benefits from the generally reliable thermal winds in Crawford Bay and grew to a peak of 95 participants in 1984.

The event has run continuously since 1974 moving to the Gray Creek Auto Camp and then more recently to The Lakeview.

Gray Creek Challenge Shield

The Gray Creek Challenge Shield holds plaques for each year’s winners, is now more than double its original size, and is only slightly younger (and slightly less prestigious) than Canada’s other long running sporting trophies, the Grey Cup and the Stanley Cup.  The regatta has drawn participants from around the Pacific Northwest all vying for the chance to etch their name in history on the Challenge Shield.

This is the year to dust off your boat, uncoil those lines, hoist those sails, and come join the Kootenay Lake Sailing Association on the east shore of Kootenay Lake for some good fun, a Saturday night BBQ, and of course some sailing, at the historic Gray Creek Regatta.

—  source Kootenay Lake Sailing Association 

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