Hoist the Main! Lake of the Woods by Sail- Exhibit at the Lake of the Woods Museum

An Exhibit about our history of navigating Lake of the Woods by sail

Wednesday, July 1 – Monday, August 31

Lake of the Woods has been described as one of the most beautiful sailing lakes in the world. With its 14,542 islands, 105,000 kilometres of shoreline, wide-open waters, narrow channels and magnificent scenery, it is a navigational and sailing challenge for the finest of yachtsmen.

For the earliest inhabitants of the lake, sailing was merely a more efficient and faster way of navigating the lake that stretches 65 miles from north to south, and 55 miles from east to west. Utilizing wind power was initially functional since the earliest forms of travel on the lake were by canoe or rowboat but harnessing the wind in sails soon became recreational. As a result, sailing has continued to have a significant presence on Lake of the Woods even after steam-powered and motor-powered vessels were introduced.

Sailing is now a means of pure enjoyment, exhilaration and exploration on Lake of the Woods.
This exhibit will feature the boats, boatbuilders, sailing clubs, and sailing events which have celebrated the sailing tradition on our lake. Test your knowledge of sailing lingo, try your hand at tying a bowline or a sheetbend, and step into the wonderful world of sailing on Lake of the Woods.


Lowisa Fun Raiser sponsored by Northern Harbour July 17th featuring Highway 59.

As if anyone needed any more reason to come to the FUNRAISER, the Hall family have donated a draw to win free winter storage for your boat. One ticket equals one chance to win so feel free to buy multiple tickets. This is to celebrate 35 years of northern harbor being in operation. Congrats Gary and family! 

Lowisa Stories

There’s a couple of great articles just posted in the stories section recently published in the Lake of the Woods Area News. Thanks Gerry Wilson for letting us repost! Two articles written by past Commodore Don Cameron titled

“Adventure Sailing on Lake of the Woods” and “The Lake of the Woods Great Adventure” and an article by Dyke Williams titles “Lowisa Regatta’s Golden Years”. If you’re a Lowisa history buff you’ll enjoy and if you’re a Lowisa newbie you might find some tips to get around the course! You can find them here.

Kid’s Events!


Free Kid’s Events 

Ahoy sailors! This year we’ve upped the kids content for LOWISA 50!  We’ve brought back our old favorite events – Treasure hunt! Hawaiian Luau! “Splash Mountain” water trampoline! SHAMBATTLE! added a few new ones – Betty Crocker for kids! Fishing Derby! 

And are introducing the KIDS-ONLY LOWISA Week-long Explorer Challenge!

Weather-permitting each anchorage will have a self-guided activity that Explorers will keep track of in their own explorer guidebook.  Get your game-on kids because this one will be fun.  Each participating boat (racers & cruisers) with kids aboard will get a special LOWISA Explorer kit which will contain all the hints/materials you’ll need!  This week-long activity is in addition to any planned activities described in the itinerary below!

Kid’s Events Itinerary 

(Transportation to/from site is available for events listed below)

Saturday Review rules for the LOWISA Explorer Challenge.
Sunday Splash Mountain and Betty Crocker event…for KIDS!
Monday Kids “Hawaiian Luau” activities on beach.
Tuesday (Ash Rapids Camp) Splash Mountain
Wednesday (Ash Rapids layover day] Kids crafts & games (SHAMBATTLE!!) on shore & fun awards night for everyone in evening.
Thursday Fishing Derby?
Friday Pirate treasure hunt for all kids.
Saturday (Northern Harbour) LOWISA Explorer awards

To help us gear the activities to suit your child, please email Vivian Boychuk at vmboychuk@yahoo.ca with the age and gender of any kids on your crew. Participation is not required but an indication of numbers and ages will help us in our planning efforts.

We want LOWISA 50 memories to keep them coming out for the next 50!

Welcome North Sails!



We are very pleased to announce North Sails as a sponsor for Lowisa 50! North Sails will be sponsoring the Layover day races and will be holding a mid morning seminar on Layover day presented by Bill Gladstone, president of North U. Additionally they have donated a stock downwind sail suitable for boas 25-40′ valued at several thousand dollars for the Layover day races. A draw will be held for all Layover Day race participants to win this sail! Thank you and Welcome North Sails to Lowisa 50!

Message from the Commodore

Lowisa 50! 50 years of sailing adventure on one of the most beautiful freshwater lakes in the world. Thats just amazing and it speaks to the unique nature of this race. Not many sporting events can claim such longevity, let alone a sailing event! Even the Superbowl is only 49 years old!

I started sailing this event at Lowisa 7 at the age of 14 and I still remember the excitement of embarking on this adventure into the great unknown that was Lake of the Woods. It was on a 14ʼ Windmill dinghy and it was truly a test of our nascent seamanship and camping skills. If not for the kindness of then strangers (now friends) Iʼm sure that we wouldnʼt have made it around the course. So now 43 years later I find myself with the distinct honour of being the Lowisa 50 Commodore. It sounds like an important job but really this event wouldnʼt happen without the contributions of many people in the Lowisa community, and theyʼve been working very hard to make this one of the best Lowisaʼs yet! Its with this same kidʼs sense of adventure that I look forward to Lowisa 50.

There have been several initiatives undertaken this year to help preserve and strengthen the regatta. The primary initiative this year led by Pat Kabris has been to establish Lowisa as a non-profit incorporation with the establishment of the first Board of Directors. The principal goals of this incorporation were to protect the volunteers who work to run the regatta each year, to provide consistency in the management of each regatta, and to maintain historical and financial records to ease the effort required by each years committee. The other initiative has been to redesign the website, due to be launched in the next week. Weʼve tried to preserve all the historical data of the old site but update it with a new look and add features such as online registration and store.

The Lowisa 50 Committee have decided this year to keep the race relatively close on the north end of the lake with the midweek layover day at Ash Rapids camp. The Clintonʼs have always been such great hosts in the past and are keen to host us for this Anniversary regatta. One of the reasons for keeping the race to the north is the expectation that the catamarans and scows will make a return, and weʼre really looking forward to that. An invitation has gone out to the Royal Lake of the Woods Yacht Clubʼs scow fleet to join us so thereʼs potential for a really great scow fleet. To make things logistically easy we may trophy the first 3 days separately for scows and perhaps “old guys” who donʼt feel they want to do the whole week.

And of course it wouldnʼt be Lowisa without all those other extra curricular activities. The Lake of the Woods Brewery will be hosting us on pre race Saturday for the Sailorʼs Social / Skippers Meeting. They will also be producing a beer in our own special anniversary can. These will be keepers although youʼre highly advised to drink the beer before putting it away for prosperity! Additionally they will be hosting the LOW Brewery Party on the Lake with a number of kegs of Sultana Gold, Thursday night at the wilderness anchorage.

This year weʼre planning a big mid week party at Ash Rapids Lodge with not only the traditional talent show but also a live band for those who want to stay up late! There will really be something for everyone including lots of kids events, the Mt. Gay Rum Party, the Betty Crocker Kitchen Contest, and tons more.

Lowisa is one of those events where there are so many stories that develop during the week, whether youʼre battling it out for one of the division trophies or finding your future wife, and everyone who goes on Lowisa will remember their own story for years to come.

So, thereʼs still lots more organizing and planning to do but I hope I have given you some idea of whatʼs happening. I really look forward to seeing a lot of boats to celebrate our anniversary year, including both first time Lowisa sailors and friends that havenʼt sailed Lowisa in a while. I hope youʼll all join us and establish or re-establish that sense of wonder gained from sailing (and racing) on beautiful Lake of the Woods.

David Nelson