Mount Gay hats at LO300 – are they back to stay?

Mount Gay Hats

July 12, 2018

On June 29, CYOB received a brief press release from LOOR – the Lake Ontario Offshore Racing organization saying:



Official Rum Sponsor for Lake Ontario 300 Challenge

Lake Ontario Offshore Racing (LOOR), on behalf of Port Credit Yacht Club, is pleased to announce that Mount Gay Rum has returned as a sponsor for the 2018 Lake Ontario 300 Challenge. Mount Gay will be providing product and prizes during the LO300 Challenge and at the Post Race Party on Friday, July 20th, 2018.

Mount Gay will be returning to their original long-standing tradition of supplying the ‘Mount Gay Cap’ to the 2018 Division Winning Skippers.


I was surprised but delighted! For so many years, the Mount Gay hat was the icon of sailing, the common thread that connected us to sailing across the country and, perhaps even more importantly, sailors around the world. You have a closet full of them and we all know someone who has a hundred.

But lately, they just have not been part of very many scenes. Yes, now and again at prominent regattas but rarely, if ever in Canada.

I was curious to learn more about the LOOR’s coup and this is how it was explained…


As you know, the Lake Ontario 300 has been supported by Mount Gay since the inception of this race.

This was part of Mount Gay’s commitment to “Offshore Racing”, which at the time was primarily ocean racing. Until recently, the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge was one of only a few races listed on the Mount Gay Offshore Racing Calendar.

In the early days, the hats were given to winning skippers, which originally were a total of 4 boats. This expanded as we know and so did the Mount Gay dealership base. As races and promotions expanded beyond control and everyone was wearing hats.

Mount Gay decided to go back to their roots and support only major ocean offshore racing with division winning hats to put value back into the hat. I think the rest was left to their distributors.

In Canada, the local distributor has recognized our log term relationship with the product and is supporting our event at the same level that Mount Gay would do.

I can’t say these hats are coming from the Barbados, but the return to supporting a few select or premier races is good news. Especially since we consider ourselves Canada’s premier offshore event, even if we are not on the ocean.
I will take a picture of the hat once we receive them, but they are only for Division Winning Skippers!

Brian Townsend, LOOR

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