The historic Gray Creek Challenge Shield is celebrating its 100th anniversary!

June 19, 2023

Come to the Gray Creek Regatta held at the The Lakeview on the east shore of Kootenay Lake September 2nd and 3rd, 2023.

The first Gray Creek Regatta was held in the summer of 1922 and included a greasy pole climb, a ‘bang and go back’ race where competitors would speed out into the lake and return, and a ‘tilting’ event where competitors standing in small boats would try to knock each other into the water or capsize the other boat using a long oar.  Spectators and participants arrived in various boats from all parts of Kootenay Lake including the sternwheeler SS Moyie.  Copious amounts of ice cream were consumed.

In 1923 a distinctive trophy, the Gray Creek Challenge Shield, consisting of deer antlers mounted on a wooden shield, was created by local resident George Oliver, with yearly winners getting their name engraved on a silver plaque mounted on the shield. 

The original regatta ran until 1925 and then went into hiatus until 1974 when it was resurrected as a sailing regatta. The first regatta of the modern era had eight entrants and was run from a Volkswagen camper van parked on the beach on the beach in front of the Deane’s cabin with the horn serving to signal the starts and finishes.  The regatta benefits from the generally reliable thermal winds in Crawford Bay and grew to a peak of 95 participants in 1984.  The event has run continuously since 1974 moving to the Gray Creek Auto Camp and then more recently to The Lakeview. 

The Gray Creek Challenge Shield holds plaques for each year’s winners, is now more than double its original size, and is only slightly younger (and slightly less prestigious) than Canada’s other long running sporting trophies, the Grey Cup and the Stanley Cup.  The regatta has drawn participants from around the Pacific Northwest all vying for the chance to etch their name in history on the Challenge Shield.

This is the year to dust off your boat, uncoil those lines, hoist those sails, and come join the Kootenay Lake Sailing Association on the east shore of Kootenay Lake for some good fun, a Saturday night BBQ, and of course some sailing, at the historic Gray Creek Regatta.

For more information please contact:

Notice of Race

On 2023 September 2 & 3 the Kootenay Lake Sailing Association will be organizing the annual Gray Creek Regatta to be held at the Lakeview Marina. 14729 Highway 3A, Gray Creek, BC. 250-227-9367.

As this is the 100th anniversary of the Gray Creek Regatta Trophy there will be more boats than usual entered so participants are encouraged to make accommodation arrangements early. Services and facilities are limited.

The racing will be in accordance with the current Racing Rules of Sailing and BC Sailing PHRF rules.

If 3 or more boats of one design enter they will be put into a single fleet.
3 or more boats will be required for dinghy, multihull and white-sails fleets so please discuss these fleets with like minded skippers on the KLSA google group.

There are some campsites, moorage and pins available at the Lakeview marina.
There is an anchorage at Honeymoon Bay for ~3 boats.
Fish Hawk Marina 15660 Fishhawk Bay Rd, Crawford Bay, BC V0B 1E0 250-227-9679 near Crawford Bay will have some slips available.

There will be a social gathering on Friday, a Bbq on Saturday and the awards ceremony on Sunday.

The emphasis of this event will be to celebrate 100 years of regattas on Kootenay Lake. Prizes will be awarded, though frankly, you will enjoy the camaraderie more.

Please pass the info to any one who might participate.
Register at with a $60/boat etransfer (includes the BBQ for up to 5 crew) and include
Skippers name, sail#, boat name, make & model and phrf*, number of crew attending Bbq.
Registration is $75 after August 29.

*BC PHRF certification post 2021for the current sail plan will be accepted, otherwise the KLSA Race Committee will issue a rating

By entering, each competitor warrants the suitability of the entered boat for the races. In particular, owners shall accept full responsibility for the seaworthiness and safe navigation of their boats and the competence of their crew and use their own judgment whether to start, continue or retire from a race in the existing or forecasted conditions. Owners shall draw the attention of their crews to this disclaimer before the start of any race and also to RRS Fundamental Rule 4, Decision to Race: The organizing authority will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during, or after the regatta.  

Each participating keel boat must be insured with valid third-party liability insurance with a minimum cover of $1,000,000 CND per event or the equivalent.