Boat builder floats idea for fun race in Alberni

Alberni boat builder Dave Whitworth hopes a sailpast and puddle duck race in August at Harbour Quay will become an annual event.

David Whitworth

When David Whitworth retired, he turned to boat building to keep himself occupied. Now, Whitworth is sharing his passion for boats in what he hopes will turn into an annual event for Port Alberni.

Four years ago Whitworth attended an eight-month boatbuilding program on Gabriola Island. Last month he built boat No. 5 as an experiment, and launched it behind Port Boathouse. “It sailed so well in hardly any wind,” he said.

Last summer Whitworth was fascinated with the Mobile Optimist Sailing School boats that launched from Wild West Watersports. He found something called a puddle duck racer that reminded him of the boats. A puddle duck racer is a four-foot-by-eight-foot plywood boat that can be assembled by someone with little woodworking skill for less than $300.

A plan began percolating to hold a “Hatch”, with families and groups building and racing the boats.

“I want to do something that will enhance the recreational use of the waterfront,” Whitworth said.

A sailpast and puddle duck race have been tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 4 at Harbour Quay, to coincide with the city’s centennial homecoming weekend.

Whitworth has gathered a group of beginner boat builders to assemble the second puddle duck racer together.

None of them have extensive woodworking skills, so they will give Whitworth a real idea of what it will take to assemble one of the boats, he said.

Once the second boat is built Whitworth plans to have a demo race. There will be other public demonstrations between now and August.

For more info, go online to pdracer.shawwebspace.ca, call Whitworth at 250-723-1408 or e-mail him at pdracer@shaw.ca.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Former Port Alberni grad pitches to Dragons’ Den

Justin Atterbury is the co-owner of Taynton Bay Spirits in Invermere, B.C.

Port Alberni man charged with multiple thefts from vehicles, lockers at Echo Centre

A Port Alberni man will appear in court on Wednesday accused in… Continue reading

Truck goes down embankment after collision on Alberni summit

Highway 4 was closed in both directions Monday afternoon

Alberni adventurers talk about trekking Vancouver Island’s ‘Secret Coast’

Windh will share photos and stories from the expedition at Alberni Valley Museum

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

Birthday boy: Pettersson nets 2 as Canucks beat Predators

Vancouver ends four-game winless skid with 5-3 victory over Nashville

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

One dead after fiery crash in Duncan

A man has died after a fiery motor vehicle collision Monday night,… Continue reading

VIDEO: Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

Cherry denies he was singling out visible minorities with his comments

Most Read