Big Boats Versus Little Boats

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An aerial image shows the area that the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club would like to use to expand its dock area. The local rowing club objects to the scope of the expansion.

An aerial image shows the area that the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club would like to use to expand its dock area. The local rowing club objects to the scope of the expansion.

Powerboaters, sailors, rowers, kayakers and jetskiers may sometimes have their issues with each other, but in Vancouver, Canada, the class war between yachters and rowers is heating up.

It all stems from the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club’s plans to expand its marina. Members of the Vancouver Rowing Club say the yacht club’s dock expansion will narrow the channel by 25 percent and make it too dangerous to navigate.

The two neighboring clubs have shared a driveway for 116 years, but a recent notice to the rowing club that the narrower width of the channel was not open to debate has set off a clash of cultures.

The rowers say it is already difficult to safely navigate the narrowest part of the busy channel. They claim the yacht club’s expansion will make it unsafe, especially for novice rowers, and that access to the water should be maintained for as many people as possible.

"Our overriding concern is more than just about rowing. It's the use of the public waterway for a few [people] as opposed to many," Vancouver Rowing Club member and former President Dimas Craveiro told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

The yacht club is saying the rowers have a marina of their own where they keep large boats and that they aren’t so different. The word hypocrite may not have been used, but things are heating up.

You can read more about it in these articles from Maclean’s and CBC

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