The 1985 Canadian Fireball Nationals in Elbow, Saskatchewan.

Written by Bob Rose


Seventeen crews made the trek to a hole in the wall town called Elbow. The town was several miles from Lake Diefenbaker which is a 125 mile long reservoir created by a dam on the South Saskatchewan River. The lake was very deep and cold and the surrounding prairie landscape was hot and dry.

The day we arrived it was 37 degrees C with a 25 MPH wind. It had been a long hot drive through millions of grasshoppers splatted on the highway, hood and windshield of the truck. As we set up our tent on the lakeside in a barren field we looked around us and saw no trees, no sailing club, no campground, or infrastructure of any kind. There was a tent structure across the inlet that turned out to be the regatta headquarters and it was a two mile drive around on country roads to get there even though we could see it 500 feet across the water.

Some of the experiences I recall were:

It was crazy to have a national event at such an inadequate location as Elbow and we haven't done it since. I think Rick Craig, our ever enthusiastic Australian born Calgarian summed it up best by suggesting the name of the place should have been Armpit rather than Elbow!