Fun in the sun at the eighth Sidney Poker Run

This Saturday, the waters around the Peninsula will be filled with vessels helping raise money.

Directors of the Sidney Poker Run Society Dale Backhaus and Debbie Tracz sit atop their 37 foot boat.

What do boats, water and fun have in common?

They’re all part of the Sidney Poker Run, a fun day on the water for those wanting to spend time in their boats with others, while motoring to various stations in a poker run.

Poker runs are done with sports cars, motorcycles and in this case, boats. This Saturday, boaters will follow a course on the water off of the Saanich Peninsula, collecting cards, hidden in envelopes at five stops.

“On the water there’s a course and they drive and motor to each stop and pick up a card,” said Dale Backhaus, a director of the Sidney Poker Run. “Then at the end you have five cards to have a poker hand.”

Boaters start on Aug. 13 with a mandatory captain’s meeting beginning at 9 a.m. at Beacon Park.

The boaters set off at 10 a.m., beginning at Sidney’s waterfront.

With around 50 boats participating from all over, registration is still open to those wanting to participate (registration to be done as soon as possible).

The stops are: Russell Island, Cowichan Bay, Pylades Island, Otter Bay and Hope Bay — with lunch taking place at Port Browning.

“So it’s about an 80 mile course,” said Backhaus.

Many different types of boats are welcome to participate in the run and director Debbie Tracz stressed that the event isn’t a race.

“People can go to any stop,” she said. “They don’t have to hit all five stops.”

People will then hand in their cards and proceed to the Mary Winspear Centre where there will be a bar, dinner, prizes, a trophy presentation and dancing. Net proceeds from the event will go to the Sidney Lions Food Bank.

“It’s a fun day on the water with great people and at the end of the day, the money goes to a great charity,” Tracz said.

People can register on the website at

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