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Atl'ka7tsem Howe Sound winds power the Squamish Open Annual Regatta

The Squamish Yacht Club event sees boats race on the ocean over the weekend.

Anyone on Atl'ka7tsem Howe Sound this weekend could see a boatload of sailing vessels in the water.

On a sunny and windy Saturday, July 22, boats took to Howe Sound as part of the Squamish Open Annual Regatta (SOAR).

The boats raced from Squamish, down and around the Kw'émkw'em Defence Islands west of Porteau Cove Provincial Park, and back to the harbour for the short course, plus a couple of extra circular manoeuvres for the long course.

The short course is about 18 nautical miles, and the long course is about 23 nautical miles.

Over 30 boats were sailing between the long and short course in the Saturday event, which was a few more than the year before, said a race committee member.

The day turned out to be great sailing weather, as John Gugins, a chair for SOAR, predicted before the event.

“It'll probably be ripping,” he said. “It's looking really good this year.”

The in-flow race happened on Friday, July 21, and the outflow race will occur on Sunday, July 23. These races are about nine nautical miles between the harbour and Porteau Cove.

This year marks the 42nd edition of the SOAR event from the Squamish Yacht Club.

“Some say that it is the best kept secret on the West Coast, but it is definitely the regatta with the most consistent winds, most spectacular venue, and voted the best party in the Pacific Northwest,” reads the website for SOAR.

After the Friday race, there was a DJ on the dock and a barbecue fundraiser for the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue. On Saturday night, the yacht club will host a racer’s dinner and more live music.

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