ILWACO — A celebration of the opening of the 2020 boating season, Pacific Northwest Sailing Days will take place from May 2 to May 8 on the Long Beach Peninsula.
The event, which organizers plan to make an annual happening, centers around the start of a yacht race from the Port of Ilwaco on May 7. It will also include the U.S. Coast Guard’s Blessing of the Fleet, charter boat rides, small town parades, a kick-off party and auction, family friendly activities, a public market and a photo contest.
“We’re thrilled to spend a week celebrating our maritime heritage and hosting the yacht crews, friends and fans for this exciting race,” said Andi Day, executive director, Visit Long Beach Peninsula.
Beginning as early as May 2, sailing yachts participating in the Pacific Northwest International Offshore International Yacht Race — formerly called the Oregon Offshore — a qualifier for the Pacific Cup and the Vic-Maui International Yacht Race, will be arriving at the Port of Ilwaco. Now in its 45th year, the race is organized by the Corinthian Yacht Club of Portland, along with title sponsor Schooner Creek Boat Works.
The multi-day race will start in Ilwaco at 11 a.m., on May 7 and finish in Victoria, BC, on May 10. This is the first time it will be hosted at the Port of Ilwaco.
Charter boats will offer ticketed passengers a ride to view the start of the race up close. Land-based platforms to watch the race include several spots at Cape Disappointment State Park including the Cape Disappointment lighthouse, the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, North Jetty, Benson Beach, the North Head Lighthouse lookout, Bell’s View lookout, and a scenic overlook off the State Route 100 loop.
Other events during Pacific Northwest Sailing Days include “Opening Day” festivities, boat rides for the Blessing of the Fleet, Ilwaco’s Children’s Parade, the season opener of the Saturday Market at the Port, and an opportunity for the public to see the moored yachts from the docks at the Ilwaco marina. Related activities at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum and Cape Disappointment State Park will also be offered.