New Brunswick

The Captain Dan's Cup hits the high seas for the second time in 29 years

Back in the 1989, sailors took part in an overnight race that would go from Shediac to Prince Edward Island and back. It ran only once though. Today, they're hoping to bring back the tradition to wharf and involve young sailors in the competition.

After its first race in 1989, sailors have come together to resurrect an old tradition

Mickey Cormier prepares his boat for the race Friday evening. It's the second time he will be sailing in the Captain Dan's Cup.

Sailors left the start line in Shediac Bay at 7p.m. Friday to cross the Northumberland Strait in the first overnight Pointe-du-Chêne-to-Summerside race in almost three decades.

The first — and only — Captain Dan's Cup was 29 years ago. It's being resurrected this weekend in what organizers are hoping will become an annual event.

About a dozen boats sailed past of the Pointe-du-Chêne wharf before beginning the 150-kilometre course to Prince Edward Island and back.

Depending on the boat's speed, the entire course should take about 15 hours.

Sailors will depend a lot on GPS and their navigation skills as they sail through the night and into the morning tomorrow.

Mickey Cormier will be racing for the second time in the evening race from Shediac to Prince Edward Island.

Mickey Cormier took on the challenge in 1989, and he's back to see if his crew can make time this year. He wants to see his name engraved on the Captain Dan's Cup, the winner's trophy named for the popular Pointe-du-Chêne wharf restaurant.

Cormier said the revival of the race will inspire the competitive spirit in some of the younger sailors in the area who come out of sailing school and don't have a boat to use.

"What I would like to see is us go to the sailing school at the Shediac Bay yacht club and invite some of these kids to come and sail with us on Wednesday night, you know, because what happens is if you don't have a boat, you won't sail after sailing school," he said. 

"So this is for the future of sailing and Shediac Bay and the tourists."

The inaugural champion

The 1989 champion wishes he could put his boat in the water and defend his title.

Joe Carey's name is the only one etched into the trophy at the yacht club in Pointe-du-Chêne. 

Joe Carey was the winner of the first race in 1989. He now lives in Fredericton.

"It's always fun to win a race, there's always that excitement, congratulations among the crew and having a great day on the water," said Carey, who lives in Fredericton. 

"Like any other sporting event, you have the team camaraderie and then you have the battle."

Organizers are hoping to see younger sailors and more tourists coming in to watch the competition as it grows to become the annual tradition that they hope it will be.

Anyone who wants to see the yachts on their return journey should be at the Pointe-du-Chêne wharf Saturday by noon.

The winner will be presented the Captain Dan's Cup on Sunday morning at a ceremony and breakfast at Captain Dan's.