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Marina manager Alexandra Quester (left) joins Kevin Jonasson, as he prepares his craft to take part in the first annual Riverest Marina Sailing Regatta, which is scheduled to take place this Saturday, August 7. Photo by Reid Masson

First annual Riverest Marina Sailing Regatta to take place in L’Orignal on Saturday, August 7

Riverest Marina in L’Orignal will be hosting a sailboat regatta this Saturday, August 7.

The first annual Riverest Marina Sailing Regatta will take place in the Baie de L’Orignal, two kilometres west of the marina on the Ottawa River. The race is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. and should take two hours or less – depending on the wind! In the case of inclement weather, the race will move to the following weekend.

“For many years we have talked about having some races, and this year we pulled together a team to plan a regatta,” explained Kevin Jonasson, one of four members of the regatta’s organizing committee.

The race is being run on a triangular Olympics-style course and the total length of the race will be six kilometres. The event is more about having fun than an actual competition, Jonasson noted, and is open to any non-powered watercraft that is equipped with sails.

The best way to view the regatta will be from a boat on the river, as the race will not be within viewing range of the marina itself. However landlocked sailboat enthusiasts will be able to view the boats before the race, when they set out from the marina and after the event, as they return. There will also be an après race event at the Riverest restaurant next to the marina.

As of last week, the regatta already had 10 sailboats entered, many whose owners are members of the Riverest Marina. However the event is open to all sailing enthusiasts.

“We’re hoping to have at least 15 boats on the starting line and there are a few non-marina members already who are joining us,” Jonasson said. “If someone has a sailboat, or anything with a sail on it, please sign up and bring it out.”

“It’s the most fun you can have going five-miles per hour.”

Sailboat owners interested in participating in the regatta can send an email to the committee’s president Sylvain Grenier at [email protected] Please include the following information:

1. Name of the captain and contact cell phone number
2. Names of crew mates
3. Name of the boat
4. Boat make and length (feet)
5. Number of extra passenger(s) you could safely take during the regatta

One doesn’t have to own a sailboat to participate in the event. There are limited spaces available for members of the public and for volunteers to help out. There is also a need for several boat owners to help during the regatta. Non sailors interested in volunteering or being a passenger can also send an email to [email protected] .

Once the race is over, the participants and volunteers will gather with the general public at the Riverest restaurant for a social gathering. The ranking of the boats in the regatta will also be announced.

“We are super happy that the members of our marina have stepped up to organize this awesome event,” said Alexandra Quester, manager of the Riverest Marina. “We hope that lots of people come out after the event to enjoy a cocktail and see some of the boats.”

Reid Masson

Reid Masson is a graduate of Algonquin College's Journalism Program. He has over 20 years of experience as a staff writer and editor for various newspapers across Canada, including The Ottawa Citizen and Brockville Recorder and Times.

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