Classic boats on show for weekend festival

About 100 vessels come to the Inner Harbour for 34th event

Dan Martin’s sailboat glided up to the docks, just outside of Everett, Wash. It was 1971, Sept. 11, in fact, and a day he’ll never forget.

Just three hours earlier, he’d heaved off that same dock with a new crew member aboard his five-metre open sailboat. A crew member who would stick around a long time.

He turned to her, said, “I might divorce my wife and I might marry you.”

Marian, 25, at the time, was dumbfounded.

In the following months, it took plenty of swooning and what Dan describes as a Mercedes’ worth of flowers to reel in the woman with whom he was so enamoured. But early the next year, Dan’s divorce was final, and a new marriage had begun.

Sailing brought the Everett pair together and keeps them together today. And for the 31st year, they’ll sail north in their Mosquito steamboat to the Victoria Classic Boat Festival.

It’s the festival’s 34th year this weekend, featuring up to 100 sail- and motor-powered vessels in the Inner Harbour.

“Well, the Classic Boat Festival in Victoria is probably the premier boat festival on the West Coast for wooden boats,” Martin said.

“I’ve been a judge for years pertaining to equipment … and I’ve always admired the way they run the deal up there. Everybody’s friendly and the port is friendly to the boaters. It’s the proper way a city should be when people come.”

The annual event kicks off Friday (Sept. 2) and runs until Sunday (Sept. 4). It closes with the festival’s highlight – a sailpast with classic boats departing the Inner Harbour and receiving a salute from the Honorary Commodores, Dan and Marian Martin, aboard HMCS Oriole.

On Saturday, the Gorge Rowing and Paddling Club will row through the Inner Harbour, ending at the Undersea Gardens for a regatta between 10 a.m. and noon. Then, at 2 p.m. is the steam boat parade, which graces the Gorge waterway.

After the sailpast on Sunday, from 1 to 4 p.m., the Schooner Cup and Open Sail races get underway.

During the event, the public is welcome to view the boats for free. Meanwhile, the registered boats will be judged by a 14-person panel who give awards in several categories, including Young Person, Old Boat, Best Tug Boat and Master of Disaster.

Dan and Marian Martin will, once again, be the honourary commodores for the festival. Forty years almost to the day since that first sailing trip, the nautical life still keeps the pair together, Dan said.

For more information, please go to www.classicboatfestival.ca.

Just Posted

Saanich’s provisional police budget under fire

Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria question why budget requests are rising as crime drops

Victoria Guard Commander leads group of snowmen after ceremony cancelled

Lt.-Cmdr. Michael Irwin wasn’t going to let a bit of snow strip him of his duties

Number of adults living with parents has doubled since 1995

9 per cent of the adult population living with one or more parent

Beauty Day spreads ‘brightness’ at Our Place

Volunteer hairdressers, estheticians, even a tarot card reader took part in the Victoria event

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Man in Vancouver Island hotel shooting pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Brandon Tyler Woody, from Victoria, to be sentenced in late March in B.C. Supreme Court

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Most Read