Rideau Ferry Regatta - 2007
Regatta Association - Est. 1909
Scott Cameron invited us to Rideau Ferry, to participate in their Rideau Ferry Regatta !!!
Sanctioned by the APBA Vintage & Historic Division.
The Rideau Ferry Yacht Club was pleased to announce that the historical Rideau Ferry Regatta was back on the Big Rideau Lake this summer. For years, Rideau Ferry was home to one of the largest race boat regattas in Eastern Canada.
The first regatta dates back to 1897, when canoes, skiffs and steam yachts were gaily decorated, paddles and oars painted and varnished, oarlocks greased, engines overhauled and oilers filled, coal bunkers packed with the best steam coal, and brasswork polished until it shone as bright as the sun itself.
The regattas became increasingly popular in the 20’s and 30’s with record crowds of over 4,000 people attending the one day event in a village with a population of less than 100. In the late 40’s the RFYC Regattas were sanctioned under APBA and attracted many outstanding drivers such as J.L. Schoolcroft, Schenectady, N.Y.; Don Chase, Northhampton, Mass.; E.P. Burger, Sydney, N.Y.; and W.H. Backner, from Gloversville, N.Y. Shortly after, other racers joined in, Chester Olcott, Dover N.H.; H.P. Shakescraft, White Plains, N.J.; and Gaston Facteau, Montreal, Que.
In the early 50’s many of the local boat builders and racing enthusiasts were well into the racing scene. The Ramsey brothers, Peter Burchell and Don Johnston, Ralph Wiseman, Gale and Bev Hall to name a few were pioneering new ideas and testing the various techniques of boat racing year after year. The regatta was well known for both inboard and outboard races.
Racing continued at Rideau Ferry up until the mid 70’s. Bigger, better, and faster came with a cost. The Yacht Club hosted its last regatta in 1976, and sold the property to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (for $1.00), to be utilized as a public beach, boat launch and picnic area for the community and summer guests.
Fortunately, members of the RFYC placed a condition within the land sale agreement, allowing the Club use of the property once a year if they wish. Although thirty years have past, the old agreement still stands and the RFYC has been given the green light to host a regatta this summer.
The Canadian Boating Federation chose Rideau Ferry to host two Canadian National Championship Races this year. There were other CBF races that weekend where the drivers were racing for points. The regatta was structured to showcase the APBA vintage race boats throughout both days. There was lots of water time for all, on the 1 ¼ mile course.
Parks Canada is celebrating the 175th Anniversary of the history of the Rideau Canal this year. The RFYC regatta has been included within their festivities as a significant event, and joined us for the weekend to promote the canal for tourism. Due to the historic nature of the regatta, we purposely targeted the APBA vintage race boats for this event.
The outboards were fun to watch - but our vintage race boats stole the show !!!
For locals, please join our: