Boaters celebrate Opening Sailpast this Sunday in Ladysmith

The Ladysmith Yacht Club is celebrating the official opening of its new reciprocal docks during a sailpast Sunday at Ladysmith Marina.

It’s boating season!

To celebrate, the Ladysmith Yacht Club and Mount Brenton Power & Sail Squadron are inviting the public to their Opening Sailpast Sunday, May 5 at 1 p.m. at the Ladysmith Marina. Following the Sailpast, hamburgers, cake and refreshments will be served.

This year, the Ladysmith Yacht Club will celebrate the official opening of the new reciprocal docks

The first Yacht Club Sailpast began at Cowes, England, nearly 200 years ago. The membership was primarily aristocratic, and many were familiar with the naval practice and traditions of “review of the fleet.”

Protocol demanded the flagship be anchored with the admiral and staff on the quarterdeck to receive and return a salute. The vessels sailed past, dipping their colours in salute.

Yacht clubs around the world celebrate the tradition. Members sail their boats past the commodore’s anchored boat, dip their colours and salute the commodore standing at attention on his or her boat.

This year, Ladysmith Yacht Club will go first, saluting Commodore Luigi Morgantini, followed by Mount Brenton Power & Sail  Squadron, who will salute Commodore Claude Leger.

The Ladysmith Yacht Club is celebrating the opening of the 2013 boating season with an official opening of its new reciprocal docks.

George Creek, with an army of members, took on the huge undertaking of building 125 feet of dock space for the reciprocal yacht club members.

Ladysmith Yacht Club has reciprocal privileges with more than 50 yacht clubs in Canada and the United States, which allow yacht club members to moor for a day or two while visiting Ladysmith. In 2012, 22 Canadian yacht clubs (146 nights) and 17 American clubs (52 nights) used the Ladysmith Yacht Club’s reciprocal docks.

—Submitted