The P.E.I. Boating Festival is Back for 2024

The Prince Edward Island Boating Festival is back for its third annual event from July 25–27, 2024.

The P.E.I. Boating Festival began as a way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Charlottetown Yacht Club (CYC). While trying to think of an appropriate way to celebrate such an occasion, former Commodore of the club Steve Cudmore thought of the province’s ‘Round the Island Race, which first took place in 1979.

“It happened sporadically over the years,” said Cudmore. “We thought it would be a really nice thing to do to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the club.”

P.E.I.’s Around the Island Race takes place every two years on the inverse year of the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race to allow interested sailors to participate in both. Photos supplied by Steve Cudmore, Bill Martin, Steven Manuel and Mary Manuel

From there, Cudmore and the rest of the CYC realized that focusing on Charlottetown wasn’t broad enough in scope and that the entirety of the island has a rich history and love of boating.

“Out of all of those thoughts, the boating festival was born to include Summerside and Charlottetown, powerboats and sailboats, inshore racing and around the island racing,” said Cudmore.

Now, in its third year, Cudmore hopes for this year’s festival to be bigger and better than ever. So far, 12 boats have signed on for the ‘Round the Island Race, with many more expected to join in as the sailing season ramps up. Kicking off the festival on Thursday, July 25, participating sailors will brave the 350-nautical-mile journey that will follow a clockwise or counter-clockwise path following the island’s coast, depending on weather conditions. The race promises to be an interesting and challenging course while remaining open to boaters of all skill levels.

“It’s not just a drag race from point A to point B, but it’s a lot of interesting sailing. And, of course, it’s going to involve sailing under the Confederation Bridge, the longest freestanding bridge in the world over ice-covered waters, although thankfully there won’t be any ice when we’re going around,” said Cudmore. “That’s always a highlight for anyone who hasn’t sailed under the Confederation Bridge.”

While the ‘Round the Island Race is ongoing, the festival will host a concurrent 50 nautical mile drag race up the coast from Charlottetown, under the Confederation Bridge and on to Summerside starting on July 26. The next day, after an overnight stay at the Summerside Yacht Club, located in the Silver Fox Entertainment Complex, racers will follow the same course back to Charlottetown for the last leg of the race. Participants are also welcome to only participate in one leg of the trip.

This 50-nautical-mile race is open to both sailboats and powerboats, with each leg of the trip being a distinct race with separate results.

“There will be a party onshore at the Summerside Yacht Club. They always do a great job of putting on a mussel boil or a corn boil or some kind of event at the Silver Fox Yacht Club,” said Cudmore. “Once we get back into Charlottetown and the Charlottetown Yacht Club, there will be a big celebration, I’m sure, with some land events and activities that will be scheduled soon.”

After participating sailors return to Charlottetown from Summerside and the ‘Round the Island Racers make their way back to the CYC, Cudmore plans to unveil an ‘Round the Island Wall of Fame to celebrate all boaters, past or present, that have made the journey.

“It’s a very small group of people that have ever raced around the island before, so this year we’re creating a Wall of Fame for all those who have competed in it since its inception many, many years ago,” said Cudmore. “We’re looking forward to getting our Wall of Fame up at the conclusion of this event this year and adding to it year over year.”

Registration to participate in the P.E.I. Boating Festival can be found at


Staff Writer

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