Crossing the Line: Highlights of Summer ‘23

Crossing the Line

You may have missed these exciting events:

Burlington Pickleboat Finals

The fastest growing racket sport, pickleball, takes to the water as a fleet of bowriders, each with two water-skiing senior citizens in tow, heads out to the aquacourt, a designated stretch of Hamilton Harbour marked with wiffle balls. When one team reaches 11 points, it’s time for celebration and possibly a nap.

The Parade of Hats in Bedford

Crew member Filomina’s headwear recreates the surging surf while avoiding the sun’s harmful rays

Dermatologists recommend boaters wear hats so why not make a day of it?. As we have seen at England’s Royal Ascot or the Kentucky Derby, the hats are often the most interesting part of the event. On a boat, you might wonder how a hat like the one illustrated could be prevented from blowing away, but thanks to the skills of interns at Dal Medical School and the technicians at Ramset, the hats have been through-bolted to the wearer’s head. On a sunny day, the whole festive ambience fills the harbour and the minor injuries to the participants go unnoticed.

The Nanaimo Synchronized Bosun’s Dancers

This astonishing event combines boat handling acumen with choreography and stunning costumes to create an amazing on-the-water spectacle. Stunning jewelled winch handles are used to grind the six chair-riders to their masthead. The troupe’s lead bosun cues a Malibu wake boat to create large waves setting the chairs and bosuns swinging across the water. The riders unfurl giant colour banners as the mast tips hit the water and nearby boaters suppress panic and nausea. What a glorious occasion!

The Great Canadian Galley Bake-Off

Creating gourmet cakes in a tiny galley oven while navigating the Peterborough Lift Lock sounds daunting but six bakers were up to the challenge in July. Sure, there were a couple of angel cake collapses yellowing the flybridge and some whipped cream needed to be removed from the bilge but all in all it was a great success. The winner, unsurprisingly, reproduced their Merc sterndrive in gateau basque including apricot diesel icing. Yum!

A note

Dear gentle readers. First a confession. I made all these events up. But wouldn’t they be great – I’d love to see people swinging in unison in Bosun’s chairs.

But sometimes the truth is stranger than even I can dream up; here’s an event that actually did happen this summer. The Bilge Rat is definitely real. The Regina Sailing Club Bilge Rat Regatta took place July 22, 2023, at the home of the Club at The Resort Village of Saskatchewan Beach on Last Mountain Lake.

One competitor was heard to say: “I don’t want to win. I don’t want to touch that thing!”

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