How Many Dispros Will Fit? (31’st Annual Regatta, 2009)

The annual regatta of the Dispro Owners Association was held last weekend with typical understated entertainment and frovility. With 41 boats in the water and nearly 100 members in attendance, it was a weekend full of Dispro action and adventure. This was the 31st edition of the regatta and a few members in attendance had participated in every one from the beginning.

Hidden Valley Resort played host and its great beaches were filled with the Dippies tied up to shore. The most important criteria for a dispro event such as the regatta is a beach big enough to hold the boats and to take the group photo.

At the helm of this year’s event was Ian Dickson, DOA president, with assistance from his wife Barb. They intently saw to our every need including cookes and water at the Brunel locks. Another touch that was certainly much appreciated, were the golf carts to ease the trek from the resort to the waterfront. So many members lend a helping hand from launching and loading up boats on trailers, docking, arranging plaques and awards, programs and more.

The highlight of the weekend, besides the wine and cheese party and the Saturday evening festivities, was the locking through the Brunel locks in and out of Mary Lake. The Brunel locks are completely hand operated and take some time to move boats through.

To move things along, a record of 15 Disappearing Propeller Boats were crammed in to the locks at once. It certainly made for a sight to see them all packed into the locks. One on of the more scenic views of the dispros was the reflections of the boats in the water as they traveled along the river.

After a very long day of exploring Mary Lake in near perfect weather and coming back through the locks, regatta participants were treated to a wine and cheese party, organized by John and Mary Storey. With so much dippying through the day, the dinner and evening events were delayed to properly enjoy.

After dinner, various members with hobbies and collections shared their interests in a trade show format. Coins, models and photographs and more all surrounded a sumptuous display of desserts and coffee.

The next day, we took a shorter tour around Peninsula Lake and its magnificent shoreline with grand cliffs and historic cottages.

The ranks of the Disappearing Propeller Boat grow each year with replicas and restorations. The collection of small wooden boats spawns its own adventure and strange behaviour. Dispros like to be together, even if they are being lead astray, such as up the creek the wrong direction.

It was a relatively uneventful weekend for boating mishaps, which is unusual for any Dispro event with all the engine troubles simple fixes. The worst mishap was a damaged rudder.

If all things go according to plan, the boats will be back in Huntsville for a return engagement at next year’s regatta.