There will be paddling clinics, demos, races and a BC Marine Trails celebration.
On May 16-17, the Nanaimo Boathouse Society is hosting the inaugural "Nanaimo Paddlefest" at the Kin Park, Departure Bay Beach. Participation and organizing of the event includes VIU, NCKC, Nanaimo Paddlers, BC Marine Trail Network, Snuneymuxw First Nation and Alberni Outpost.
The paddling festival consists of clinics from beginners to intermediates in all paddling disciplines - kayaking, dragon boat, outrigger and stand up paddle boards; for many this would be a prime time to take a beginner's clinic in stand up paddle boards.
There will also be Kayaks, SUPS and Kayak fishing demos by Alberni Outpost plus SUPs & Kayaks by Valhalla Pure Outfitters, along with sales of paddling equipment and gear.
There will also be races on the Saturday - the Nanaimo Ocean Challenge which is a 1 km SUP, 2 km Kayak/Surfski and 2 km Canoe/Outrigger Race. Paddlers can choose to do this as an Iron Race with 1 person completing all 3 disciplines or enter as a Team.
On the Sunday there will be a distance race from Departure Bay Beach around Shack Island and return.
Also beginning 3pm on the Saturday, will be the arrival of the Flotilla marking Departure Bay as a landing site along the BC Marine Trail, a Blessing by the Snuneymuxw First Nation, then the official photograph will be taken of paddlers and spectators, all wearing their PFDs (Personal Flotation Device), for Nanaimo's submission to the Life Jacket World Record Day - "Ready, Set, Wear It". This will be followed by the Official Welcome Ceremony.
Food and beverages throughout the weekend will be provided by Two Chef's Affair Catering.
This will be a perfect way to showcase all the different Paddling Disciplines in Nanaimo. The Paddlefest is an excellent way for everyone in Nanaimo to see and appreciate the popularity of the different paddling activities and have an opportunity to participate in any or all of them.
Everyone would have a better opportunity to participate in these activities if there was a central location to access the appropriate information and training, more conveniently and safely. The Nanaimo Boathouse Society is a non-profit organisation that is working hard to make this central location a Reality. If we are the 'Harbour City', let us at least have a Facility on the Waterfront for all the paddling disciplines for the People of Nanaimo and for our Visitors.
As you can well imagine, lots of volunteers will be needed but what I really hope for is that as many of you as possible, will be participants.
Please check out the website where you can see all the clinics and demos provided: www.nanaimoboathouse.org/paddlefunfest
Sincerely Yours in Paddling,
Nanaimo Boathouse Society