History of Day of the LongBoat

30 years ago, the staff of UBC Recreation Intramurals (then called UBC Intramural Sports) had a vision of an incredible new event that transformed into actuality of one of the most historic events to take place at UBC. The vision was this: teams of individuals wearing their faculty shirts and game faces, would stand before eight logs of of Douglas Fir in Pacific Spirit Park. Stroke by stroke, they would carve and carve away at the logs, to reveal their majestic masterpieces – 8 beautiful voyageur canoes.

Upon completion, each team would hoist their voyageur canoes onto their shoulders and made the gruelling journey to Jericho beach. They would take their boats out onto the chilly waters and paddle a strenuous course with their game faces on, sweat on their brows, and pride in their hearts.

Thus, Day of the LongBoat was born.

Now this was a vision, and is not the real story of how Day of the LongBoat started, but nonetheless, pretty epic huh? And it was from this vision, that Day of the LongBoat, as it is known today, was born. Its inaugural year was 1987, being the 3rd major event put on by UBC Recreation Intramurals after the Great Trek and Storm the Wall. In 1999, it made the airwaves of sports network giant ESPN, and is one of the largest voyageur canoe races in North America. This event is now celebrating it’s 30th Anniversary, and is one of the few that has stood the test of time – it is still structurally the same event it’s always been with very minor changes (the route from 15+ years ago is the reverse of the route you’ll be doing race weekend for example), it has always been held at the same location, and is hands down the first major UBC event of the year.


This year’s LongBoat will be the biggest EVER- it’s the 30th anniversary!! This classic event will feature over 3000 people that will take part in the event!

We hope you’re as stoked as we are! There will be boats. There will be waves. There will be sweat. There will be tears. There will be lots of shouting. There will be lots of beautiful people. There will be fun times. There will be lots of memories. But whether you’re a competitive racer, a just-for-fun’er, or an entertained observer you will be guaranteed to have fun. Because you’re a part of something bigger.  A long-standing tradition of AWESOME.

So heave ho, heave ho UBC, let’s go!  Get ready to paddle your hearts out and kick start the new school year.