Press Releases

2016 Opening Day of Boating Theme is "A Great Escape"

Seattle Yacht Club has chosen "A Great Escape" for the theme of the 2016 Opening Day Boating Festivities on May 7, 2016. The Seattle community will see boats in full dress, as well as decorated boats in theme-related regalia as they parade through the Montlake Cut.

The 96th annual, world-renowned boating event is under the leadership of Admiral Tom Wingard, Admiralette Joanne McConnell, and Vice Admiral Bruce Campbell. The theme 'A Great Escape' was selected for boaters to celebrate their town, city or region. Where do you go to escape, rejuvenate or relax - the sea, the mountains, the forest?" explained Admiral Tom Wingard.

Seattle Yacht Club's Opening Day is organized by countless volunteers and is open for participation to the entire Salish Sea community. The festivities begin with a celebration of the Northwest traditions with rowing competitions from local, regional and international athletes. The Windermere Cup, started in 1986, is the highlight of the rowing competition which pits national/international crews against the University of Washington men's and women's crew.

The celebration culminates with decorated vessels of all shapes and sizes - dinghies, aqua cars, wooden boats, sailboats, powerboats and yachts - decorated to "A Great Escape" theme. This event is like no other Opening Day; where boaters and landlubbers alike can watch within yards of the passing vessels in the Cut.

The tradition known as Seattle's Opening Day first started in 1913 with a parade and regatta in Elliott Bay. Since 1920, the celebration has been held in the Montlake Cut when Seattle Yacht Club moved its facilities to Portage Bay. Founded in 1892, the Seattle Yacht Club has been instrumental in establishing boating traditions and hosting events leading up to the legacy of what Opening Day is today.


Michelle Sailor
(206) 617-9049