Skip to content

Teacup race returns to the waters off Oak Bay’s Willows Beach

Hold on to your tea cozies – an Oak Bay Tea Party favourite is coming to Willows Beach June 5
Actress Meg Tilly takes part in the Mayor’s Challenge Floating Teacup Race during a previous Oak Bay Tea Party. (Black Press Media file photo)

By Nicole Crescenzi

Black Press Media contributor

Not every vessel comes with a standard issue of milk and sugar—then again, most sea vessels aren’t humongous, fibreglass teacups.

That’s what you’ll spot on Willows Beach on Sunday, June 5 during the Floating Teacup Race, a long-standing tradition of the Oak Bay Tea Party. It’s a family-friendly event of hilarity which features the district’s mayor (Kevin Murdoch) against a yet-to-be-named competitor.

Past opponents have included actors, Olympians, mayors from other municipalities, police chiefs, radio DJs and more.

ALSO READ: Oak Bay Tea Party in years gone by

“You have to row out into the water, go touch the Oak Bay Rescue Society vessel, row back, get to the beach and run up and ring the bell,” said Sandy Germain, head organizer of the Oak Bay Tea Party.

The task is made even more difficult (and more hilarious) by the fact that the oars are mismatched, causing competitors to flail, spin and even spill.

If no one boils over, however, they can steep themselves in glory: the captain of the victorious saucer will not only have the gloating, floating authority of the Teacup Race victor, but also receive a notable teacup trophy for all to see.

The event will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 5 at Willows Beach.

It should also be noted that no tea will be harmed in the process of this race.


Do you have a story tip? Email:

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Christopher Causton paddles his way to victory in the 2002 Mayor’s Challenge Floating Teacup Race. (Oak Bay Archives)