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2019 • 122th Anniversary of the Rideau Ferry Regatta

Sanction pending approval.

• 2019 Available Accomodations
• 2019 Directions to the Event
• 2019 Propossed Schedule
• 2019 RFYC Vintage Registration Form
• 2019 Sanction

This year marks the 122th Anniversary of the Rideau Ferry Regatta. It’s hard to imagine that the organizers of the first regatta in 1897 would have ever thought this event would still be as popular as it is so many years later. We’ve come a long way and seen many changes and challenges over the years.

If you have an interest vintage race boats, boat racing, high powers engines, canoe building, cardboard boat racing, toy boats, paddle making or just enjoy hanging around the beach, then this year’s Rideau Ferry Regatta is where you want to be on the weekend of August 17th & 18th 2019.

The Rideau Ferry Yacht Club welcomes boating enthusiasts of all ages to attend this award winning regatta. There will be dozens of Vintage Race Boats gathered on the Big Rideau Lake from both Canada and the United States. Some of the sport’s most famous Grand Prix race boats and drivers will be there reaching speeds of well over 100 km/h, as well as many other vintage inboard and outboard classes. Also this year there will be the return of the Can-Am flat bottom race boats (invitation only) that will entertain the crowds with actual races on both days.

Vintage race boat regattas are the fastest growing boating events within the Canadian Boating Federation. After the tremendous return of Vintage Race Boats at Rideau Ferry over the past 12 years, the interest of this sport has taken off as fast as the race boats themselves. The Canadian Boating Federation created a Vintage Race Boat Division, ensuring the future of these beautiful Vintage Race Boats within Canada stays strong and alive for future generations to enjoy.

The Rideau Ferry Yacht Club is thrilled to announce that one of Canada’s most historic race boats Miss Supertest III will be at the regatta this year.

The crowd pleasing “Municipal Cardboard Boat Races” will return again this year. The surrounding municipalities will have decorated their hopefully seaworthy craft and the local politicians will skipper their cardboard boats to the finish line … or the bottom … whichever comes first! Municipalities from both sides of the Rideau have been invited to the challenge in hopes of bringing home the 122nd Anniversary trophy.

The 2019 Regatta will also see the return of the “Six Hour Canoe” boat building competition, where teams of four construct a beautiful 14’ canoe on Saturday and race it on Sunday. There will also be free “Toy Boat” shelter for children to build and paint their own little boats. So come on out, bring your lawn chair, and enjoy a beautiful day at the beach at the RVCA Conservation Area in Rideau Ferry.

Also, when attending the event this year, be sure to pick up a copy of “THE REGATTA BOOK”, a beautiful story and picture book written by Val Hudson about the history of the RFYC Regattas and surrounding area. This book is a must have for your coffee table at your home or cottage. It can also be purchased by contacting gladfrogproductions@gmail.com.

Hope to see you there. Members of the Rideau Ferry Yacht Club

HISTORY: The Rideau Ferry Regatta – Since 1897

The first Regatta was organized in 1897 by a group of summer residents near Oliver’s Ferry. The officials that day were Mr. J. A. Stewart of Perth, who was the Starter & Referee, and Mr. J.A. Allan, also of Perth, officiated as Judge.

The feature attraction that year was the “Steam Yacht Race”, which was won by the yacht “Geraldine”, owned by Senator McLaren of Perth. Other schedule events included: “Boy’s and Girl’s Double Scull Race”, “Single Sculls”, “Swimming Race”, “Tandem Canoe”, “Men’s Double Scull”, “Boy’s Single Scull”, “Four-In-a-Canoe Race”, “Mixed Tandem Canoe Race”, and all the “Sailing Races”.

The steamer “James Swift” ran two excursions from Smiths Falls that day and several steam yachts brought spectators from Perth, Smiths Falls and Portland. Others drove to the Regatta behind horse-drawn carriages and coaches, many rowed from Perth and Smiths Falls by boat and a few made the journey on foot!

A gala dance was held that evening at the “Coutt’s Hotel”. Mrs. J.A. Allan presented the trophies and prizes to all of the winners that night. This forerunner regatta proved to be a true success as it was instrumental towards establishing the Rideau Lakes region as a favoured summer vacationland for generations to come.

In 1909, the “Rideau Ferry Boating Club” was established to be the official organizer of the annual regatta. Many years later the club’s name was changed to the “Rideau Ferry Yacht Club” and still organizes one of the largest race boat regattas in Eastern Ontario.