LOWISA 57 in NW Ontario

SinC LOWISA 57 Regatta

August 2, 2023

Serious racing, serious fun.

Short for Lake of the Woods International Sailing Association, the LOWISA 57 Regatta is taking place this year from August 5 – August 12, 2023.

The regatta departs from Northern Harbour (near Kenora, Ontario) and includes seven days of racing and cruising through beautiful Lake of the Woods. Our fleet is composed of both racers and cruisers. The Racers will be divided into two classes (a Regular Race Class and Leisure Race Class). Boats in the Regular Class will race along a full-length course (18-20 nm) each day and will be divided into different starting divisions based on PHRF ratings. Boats in the Leisure Race Class will have a pursuit style start and will race along a half-distance course. Boats in our Cruising Class will navigate between our evening anchorages at their own pace and along their own preferred course.

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Each night our fleet gathers in a new anchorage where we host a variety of social events (e.g., bonfires, shore parties) under beautiful sunsets, endless starry skies and the occasional Northern Lights. Mid-week we’ll have a layover day at Ash Rapids Lodge during which there will be a round-the-buoys race, a fish fry and a live band. 

All boat designs are welcome to participate in LOWISA, however, conditions on Lake of the Woods and the duration of the event tend to suit vessels measuring 18 ft. and above with an onboard head, interior dry storage space, and an inboard or outboard motor for light wind days. Smaller crafts can also participate but would benefit from having access to a support boat. Please see our website (lowisa.org) and social media pages for more information. 

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The LOWISA Regatta takes place on Lake of the Woods which spans parts of Ontario, Manitoba, Minnesota, and Treaty 3 lands and waters, the Traditional Territory of the Anishanaabe people.

How it all started:

It all began in 1965 when Clyde Ryberg of Minneapolis, Minnesota alongside his wife and two children boarded an E-scow with a canoe and camping gear in tow and set out to explore remote Lake of the Woods. At the time, Ryberg’s trip was financially supported by Minnesota State Senator Henry T. McKnight, an avid canoer and nature conservator. Both Ryberg and McKnight considered Lake of the Woods and the Boundary Waters as places of endless natural beauty unique among all the world’s landmarks. Ryberg would later write of McKnight: “Henry had an obsession that areas like this should be both used and preserved as a habitat for people in which they could recharge their enthusiasm for life—while accepting the responsibilities that go with such use.” From Ryberg’s travels emerged the notion of a grand international sailing regatta spanning northern Minnesota and southern Canada. Subsequently, McKnight and Ryberg, together with the many commodore’s and regatta participants that followed, have made this vision a reality. Today, in our 57th year, we continue to honour these traditions laid out before us, and with renewed vigor, pledge ourselves to the passion for adventure, camaraderie, and sustainability-mindedness that fueled the first LOWISA regatta.

2023 Anchorages:

Saturday, August 5 – Strawberry

Sunday, August 6 – Cowboy

Monday, August 7 – Hidden Bay

Tuesday, August 8 – Crow Rock Lodge

Wednesday, August 9 – Crow Rock Lodge

Thursday, August 10 – Deadbroke

Friday, August 11 – 22ft Bay

Saturday, August 12 – Northern Harbour

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