Rideau Ferry Yacht Club and Regatta

Rideau Ferry Yacht Club

On the Rideau Canal World Heritage Site!

Cod's Racing

Rideau Ferry Yacht Club & Regatta History

Miss Rideau Ferry

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.

For a complete history of the Rideau Ferry Yacht Club and the Regattas, Val Hudson has written a beautiful book simply titled "The Regatta Book" - over 100 years of racing at Rideau Ferry. This book can be purchased at The Store in Rideau Ferry or by contacting Val at gladfrogproductions@gmail.com