A race boat skips along the surface of Sproat Lake during one of the heats Saturday afternoon on the Alberni Valley Regatta course. Hundreds of spectators took in two days of racing.

Sproat Lake Regatta ‘best one we’ve had’: Van Bergen

Spectators lined the beaches and water at Sproat Lake for the third annual revival of the Sproat lake Regatta over the weekend.

The 2016 edition of the Alberni Valley Regatta is in the books, and organizers are celebrating its success.

“The show went really well. It’s the best one we’ve had,” organizer Joe Van Bergen said.

“The weather certainly cooperated; the sun was out Friday for our show n’ shine, it stayed out Saturday and the thunder and lightning hit last night (Sunday),” he said.

“There were fantastic crowds on the beaches and we had an excellent PA system out there.”

Van Bergen said he sold T-shirts on the raft out in the water most of the weekend, and boaters gathered near the raft were able to hear what was going on throughout the race course.

Mo Davidson of Surrey provided a couple of the weekend’s highlights.

Davidson showed off two of his boats at Friday’s show n’ shine in front of the Blue Marlin Inn, including his drag boat “The Animal”. Davidson’s other showpiece was the “Miss British Columbia”, an 18-foot long hydroplane dragster that was at one time the world’s fastest drag boat.

Back in the late 1960s, Miss British Columbia was famous on the west coast drag boat circuit—even competing at the old Sproat Lake regattas.

Davidson acquired the boat a couple of years ago from the side of a highway in Christmas Valley, Oregon, where the boat was rotting. Davidson had the boat restored and now tows it to various car and boat shows.

Saturday and Sunday, Davidson ran his 1977 Sanger drag boat dubbed “The Animal” for a few high-speed passes.

The 4,000- horsepower Keith Black top fuel motor allowed him to top out at about 200 miles per hour, according to Van Bergen.

Four F1 tunnel boats also put on a good show, as they have for all three of the regatta revival years. Mike McLellan of Kelowna brought two of his F1 racers to town, loaning one to Sproat Lake favourite Mike Nass after Nass had a fire the week before the regatta, McLellan said. Kyle Maskall of Chilliwack also raced his F1.

Last year the bottom ripped out of McLellan’s boat at the regatta, forcing him to switch to a different boat for the Seafair races in Seattle the first weekend in August. McLellan said this season he has been doing a lot of west-coast racing, and it seems that with the system changing for Seafair, he may be doing even more of that.

“There seems to be a basis for a west series coming together,” McLellan said at Friday’s show n’ shine. “It seems the planets are lining up right now. We’re focusing on our development guys.”

McLellan said he had no idea whether the Sproat Lake event would be part of a west coast racing series, but it “has that sort of feel to it…it seems like a no-brainer. There’s infrastructure here. It would be another class.”

editor@albernivalleynews.com

facebook.com/albernivalleynews

twitter.com/alberninews

 

 

 

Just Posted

BC Transit to offer free bus services in Port Alberni on Election Day

Alberni Valley residents will be able to ride the bus for free on Election Day

ARTS AROUND: Port Alberni artists show their love of nature

“Spirits of Earth, Wind and Water” is on now until Oct. 30

EDITORIAL: Port Alberni arts deserve our support

Portal Players Dramatic Society is poised to perform a popular musical beginning this week…

Alberni Lifeline grants lifetime subscription to centenarian

Vivian Thomson, 101, says Lifeline keeps her going

Alberni Valley Kennel Club brings back Canine Classic dog show

55th annual Dog Show weekend takes place Oct. 18-20

VIDEO: U.S. officials refute British couple’s ‘accidental’ border-crossing claim

Authorities say couple was arrested after illegal entry from B.C., with $16,000 and marijuana

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

One person hurt in crash at busy Nanaimo intersection

Minivan, sport utility vehicle collide at old Island Highway, Bowen Road and Norwell Drive

Two RCMP vehicles vandalized in Duncan over long weekend

Local Mounties asking for help in finding culprits

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read