Youbou Regatta features fun water challenges

Family-friendly fun on the water is back again on the shores of Cowichan Lake.

Family-friendly fun on the water is back again on the shores of Cowichan Lake.

The annual Youbou Regatta is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 8.

Starting at 8 a.m. with a free breakfast at the Fire Hall, everyone then moves outdoors to find a spot to watch the parade, which starts at 10:30.

The cavalcade is not long but colourful and it’s greeted with great enthusiasm. Once it’s gone by, the action shifts to Arbutus Park.

The regatta began decades ago as a swimming event and water-based events still make up a big part of the day, starting with the iconic Clarence Whittingham Memorial Quarter Mile Swim.

Whittingham always took the swimmers out on his tug to start the race and the practice continues today as young and old take to the lake, diving from the tug boat and heading for shore as fast as they can.

Later, in the water, there are canoe, kayak and paddle board races, swimming races for all ages, a whistle-splash-and-flip triathlon, the belly flop and cannon ball diving contests and the lifeguard relay.

On land, there are also games for kids, a three-on-three volleyball tournament, a chalk art contest and a watermelon eating competition before it all winds up with an awards ceremony at 4 p.m.

A concession will operate from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and there is also music provided to add to the atmosphere.

In the evening, back by popular demand, there’s an adult dance, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Youbou Hall, featuring the band, Clearcut.

Tickets for this are $15 per person. Get them at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena, Youbou Hall and Shop & Save in Youbou.