Definition of the word ‘yacht’ is a vessel propelled by sail or power, used especially for pleasure cruising, racing, etc. According to Rick Kinar “that’s the meaning and vision we want the folks of Ladysmith to have of our group.” Kinar is the media person for the Ladysmith Yacht Club. “Our members are boat owners, of a variety of shapes and sizes, whose interest is not just in their boats but also in the care and future of Ladysmith harbour,” he said.
Helping to promote that goal, the local yacht club is holding their annual sail past this coming Saturday, May 7th. Even though it sounds a little bit upity the sail past is meant to help inform more locals not just about the club but also about the waters adjacent to where we all live. Starting at 1:00 pm, on Saturday, the boating group will be hosting a variety of events at Transfer Beach and invite the community to come down and take part in the fun. Kinar said “there is going to be four face painters for the children as well we have a professional bagpiper there to not only play tunes at the park, but when all the boats line-up off the beach, he will pipe them in.”
As part of the ‘official function’ before the vessels parade out the harbour and assemble off Transfer Beach, the new Commodore will take a salute, at the club’s boathouse on the LMS docks. It’s anticipated there will be over 20 vessels in the parade and along with club members other dignitaries will include MP Lisa-Marie Barron, MLA Doug Routley along with members of local town government.
“We’re endeavouring to make this, as well as our other events, a bit of education about our group and what we can do to help make Ladysmith even more of a destination for outdoor enthusiasts and not just boaters, although that side of it is of importance to us,” Kinar said. The club sees the harbour and surrounding waters, islands, hiking trails etc. as a mecca for pleasure boaters. “It’s location store the Gulf Islands makes Ladysmith a great jumping off point for folks wanting to tour that area and before they set off they can buy pretty well all their supplies right here locally,” he said. “It’s also a great location for boaters heading up the coast, Desolation Sound or even just up Island,” he said. “It’s a long haul for folks heading to Desolation (85 nautical miles) and a lot of the boaters pull into Ladysmith to stock up and refresh before the longer sail. There are some very good economical benefits here.” He said. “There are a few very important items missing such as a chandlery, a hottie boat and even more importantly is the need for a fuel dock.” These are issues that the Ladysmith Yacht Club feel that they can be a part of in brining to the community. A goal the group has is making the local harbour a destination for boaters, not just a stop-over.
The club has members that don’t have boats and they are referred to as ambassadors. On Sunday there will be ambassadors at Transfer Beach explaining the goings on as well as information about the area and the group. There is also a food truck concession going to be present.
The event also anticipates the participation from the RCMP patrol boat and the local Royal Marine Search and Rescue unit. The Maritime Society is going to have their heritage vessels in the flotilla as well as lined up off of Transfer Beach to honour and thank all the visitors who come down for the event.