VENTURA — Skippers from Santa Barbara to as far south as San Diego will head to Ventura to participate in the 15th annual Sailathon on Oct. 23, where crews will set off on a quest to raise money for charity as they search for the “Ugly Fish.”
The fundraiser presented by Crucible Creativity, to benefit Caregivers: Volunteers Assisting the Elderly, includes a day on the water and events back on the landside.
On the water, multihull, monohull, paddleboats, powerboats and canoes will assemble off the Ventura Pier in Pierpont Bay vying for a glimpse of the “Ugly Fish.”
“The Ugly Fish tends to rear its head in Ventura County’s local waters in the fall,” said the event’s founder Andy Killion. “That’s why it made sense for us to schedule the annual Sailathon around mid-October every year. We may not spot the Ugly Fish, but I’m confident we’ll bring a lot of awareness and support for a great local charity.”
At times, the “Ugly Fish” has been mistaken for the blue whale, which also has been spotted off the Channel Islands, but the distinct colors of the “Ugly Fish” give reason to believe that it is not part of the musculus species.
While the origins of the “Ugly Fish” remain a mystery, locals can attest that this is no folklore. Dale Morris, who owns The Ventura Boatyard, has been in the area for three generations, and recalls old tales of The Ugly Fish shared by his family. “Rumor has it that The Ugly Fish is a very tasty, tender fish — if you can catch it,” Morris said. “I’ve heard some excellent recipes are floating around and being tested at local restaurants.”
Back on land, a closing reception filled with food, signature cocktails and a sailing-themed auction and raffle with all proceeds for the event to benefit Caregivers.
Awards up for grabs include Most Laps for Mono-Hull, Multi-Hull, Power Boat and Human Powered Boat. The winning yacht club with the most boats registered will win the Ugly Fish Award. The Perpetual Trophy will be awarded to the marina with the most boats registered.
For more information or to register for the event visit vccaregivers.org.