Over the past few years there has been a good deal of discussion and speculation about the up-coming 50th anniversary of the Shediac-Charlottetown race. The only problem is that no-one seems to know exactly when the 50th anniversary is. There seemed to be general agreement that it was in 2013 and that planning for the 50th had better start now if we were to build it up from the current weak level of participation back to the glory days of forty and fifty boats.
I was a the Halifax Boat Show last week-end and ran into Ron White, Honourary Commodore of the Charlottetown Yacht Club (CYC). He opined that the first race was in 1962 which would make this year the half-century race. I guessed that I had better do some research. Micky Cormier of the Shediac Club is another veteran of Strait racing and in a history of that club he wrote in 1970 he said it was first held in 1964 with twelve boats. http://sbyc.ca/history.html That gave us three potential dates. So…Friday morning it was off to the archives to read back issued of the Charlottetown Guardian. 1962 …. nothing, 1963….. nothing. 1964… Bingo!
1964 was the first of the Centennial celebrations for PEI There was no shortage of events. A major Boy Scout Regatta was held at the CYC and the news item noted that the first day of the regatta would coincide with the finish of the Shediac-Charlottetown race. Micky was right. 12 boats entered but one was struck before the start. The start was front page news for the Saturday Guardian which gave the positions of the lead boats at nightfall and the full results were printed on Monday. I have ordered copies of the articles and will post them shortly.