Yacht racing in Souris

Souris Yacht Club

Photo of Lina Mae (note name variation) courtesy of Denis Thibodeau

An article in the Charlottetown Guardian in 9 May 1904 provides a glimpse into a forgotten chapter of the history of sailing in Prince Edward Island.

“… it may not be amiss to give a brief history of Yachting in Souris. Four years ago this coming season, while Judge Warburton, John McLean, Dr. F.S. McDonald and H. H. Acorn were having a sail in Colville Bay, the conversation was turned by the Judge to the topic of yachting and yacht racing. He pointed out the facilities of the bay for such races and after a brief talk over the matter one of the party suggested that they open up a subscription list to procure a cup and hold an annual regatta for it along with other prizes.

Judge Warburton headed the list with a handsome donation, and the others nobly followed to a man. There was no difficulty in procuring the balance and in a very short time the Judge had secured the cup, which at that time was the best in the Maritime Provinces. It is now known as the Warburton Cup.

The first meeting was held in Mr. Fraser’s office on August 16th, 1901, and the following officers appointed. Patron – Judge Warburton,  President Michael McCormack, Commodore – F.W. Hyndman, Secty. Treas – A.L. Fraser

The first regatta was held on the 28th day of August, 1901, when the Lina Mae of Souris won the cup. Mamie C. of Annandale second, Anita of Georgetown third, Myrtle E. of Georgetown fourth , and Petrel of Souris fifth.

At the regatta of 1902 the Lina Mae again came in first winning the cup, and if she had been fortunate enough to win it again in 1903,. the cup would have gone to the owners  and the club would have had to purchase another cup. However, she lost to the Defender of Summerside and hence it Souris has one of the best yachts in the Province to-day in order that Souris may regain the cup.

The Club has heretofore been handicapped for want of a proper constitution and bye-laws but at last meeting a committee was appointed to draft one and this will be submitted at the next meeting.”

The regattas of the Souris Yacht Club continued for a number of years and in 1904 the yacht Zeypher, also owned by  H.D. MacLean, was launched, partially for the purpose of regaining the Warburton Cup. This boat was one of the most successful competitors in the pre-war yachting regattas and will be subject of a future blog posting. .

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