Giant’s Head Regatta and Rattlesnake Island Passage 2018

As I reflect back upon this year’s Giant’s Head Regatta, I’m filled with a feeling of gratitude. It seemed that my stars had aligned and it had nothing to do with results but rather the location, the friends and most importantly my crew! For the first time, I got to sail with family!

Barnes’ family on “Mod Mod Margie” take 1st Place in A-Fleet for 2018 Giant’s Head Regatta.

The location. The south end of Okanagan Lake, from Penticton to Rattlesnake Island has to be one of the best bodies of water for sailing that I’ve ever had the pleasure sail. When the northerly filled in, like it did on Saturday morning, I knew we were in for another classic Rattlesnake Is. Race and it didn’t disappoint! There were lots of tactics, gear changes, exciting spinnaker runs. So much fun, you almost forgot about the smoke!

The friends. After the race, there was that usual buzz around the docks. Congratulations were handed out, stories were told, tactics were shared as well as beer. I think this is one of the biggest differences from other regattas. There’s a community feel, on the water, at the docks and in the club house.

Race Day for 2018 Rattlesnake Island Passage, Monday August 13th. Breakfast & skippers’ meeting at Summerland Yacht Club

Family. This year my son, Nick and I had just finished re-storing a Rocket 22. Our 1st regatta was at WIRW where some of the bugs got worked out and GHR was going to be our next challenge. Sue (my wife) said she wanted to join in on the fun and then Robyn (my daughter) said she could do Sunday! This would be the 1st time that we had all raced together!

Bev LaCasse and West Kelowna Yacht Club organizers greet arriving boats after the Rattlesnake Island Passage race.

But there was one more member of our family who was there in spirit and that was my Mom, Margie. My Mom always was a classy dresser and even into her 90’s she always dressed with dignity and style. Us kids would say “aren’t you the ‘Mod Mod Margie’”!!


Alan Barnes & Family


Rocket 22 #2213

Mod Mod Margie


Boats arriving after the Rattlesnake Island Passage race.

Boats arriving after the Rattlesnake Island Passage race.

Burgers and beer at West Kelowna Yacht Club while waiting for results.