Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t

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PORT REPUBLIC – The slowest boats got the biggest cheers.

More than 200 people lined the bathing beach Saturday, Sept. 15 for the Port Republic Cardboard Duct Tape Boat Regatta – a fundraiser for the Parent Teacher Society.

And while winners efforts were rewarded with applause, the loudest hoots and shouts were for the slow boats finishing their trek long after the winners landed.

Beautiful weather greeted the 11 a.m. contestants and crowd, supporting the event to help fund other activities and the Port Republic School for grades K-8.

About 20 minutes before the start of racing there was a call over the loudspeaker asking for a certified lifeguard to volunteer some time. The call was repeated a few minutes later.

About 10 minutes before launch there was a call for “any avid swimmers …”

But safety wasn’t a problem with adults watching closely in boats and all along the beach.

Among those entered were Robbie, 11, and Jake Nawrocki, 10, and Doug Bruckler, 11, with their boat, “Dead Duct.”

The name was a group effort as was the craft, the boys said before racing. It took four or five days to build.

Then there was “Wisteria the Waterproof Warrior” made and paddled by Emma Walker, 12, and Rebecca Hennessy, 11. The girls also made their Viking style hats by dressing up a couple of old cold-weather garments.

Their boat was originally christened “Waterproof Warrior,” but after taking on a distinctly feminine design she became “Wisteria the Waterproof Warrior,” according to Rebecca’s mom, Rosemary Hennessy.

Port Republic Mayor Gary Giberson served in multiple capacities during the event.

“Today at the beach of the historic Nacote Creek, the Port Republic Parent Teachers Society held with great success, their first Port cardboard regatta,” the mayor said.

“Port Republic has a well known history of ship building which dates back to the 1600s when Dutch shipbuilders found the plentiful Atlantic white cedar growing in abundance on the Mullica River and inland to the head waters of Nacote Creek - so named by the Lenape Indians who resided in the area.”

Giberson transformed an event with boats made from duct-taped cardboard into a history lesson for a brief time.

“The ship building flourished into the 1700s in the area of Chestnut Neck and later the Van Sant Shipyard in Port, where only a clam shell throw away, the cardboard regatta was held today,” he said. “The students, parents and community members all shared in ship design and building with only two materials allowed to be used, cardboard and duct tape. The event was a huge success.”

The nearest thing to a calamity occurred when the boat carrying two youngsters in morphsuits overturned and one couldn’t breathe as the material clung to his face.

They learned a valuable lesson: Don’t go swimming in morphsuits.

Maybe the most comfortable people in the crowd, Gloria Grumbein of Egg Harbor Township and Terri Pierce of Somers Point set up a booth in the shade for the U.S. Coast Guard Ocean City Flotilla 81 Auxiliary.

“We have all kinds of information about boating safety,” Pierce said. “There’s also a course people can take for free.”

Grumbein said the Coast Guard also offers free vessel exams.

“We’ll make sure you have everything you need on board,” she said.

There were 20 boats entered in the race, according to Parent Teacher Society President Amy Nass.
The Winning boats were:

 Youth Division

  • 1st - Eat My Duck Tape, Brian and Dustin Conway
  • 2nd - Port Pirates,  Carly and Allison Burton and Angela and Julia Fiorontino
  • 3rd - SS SOS,  John Whaley and Tory Nelson

 Multi-Age Division

  • 1st - Eat My Duck Tape,  Brian and Cameron Conway
  • 2nd - USS Sammy,  Dan and Sam Morfitt
  • 3rd - The Square Refrigerator Castle,  Adam and Tyler Giberson

Adult Division:

  • 1st - Eat My Duck Tape

 

Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t

Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t

Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t

Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t

Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t

Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t

Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t

Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t

Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t

Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t

Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t

Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t

Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t

Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t

Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t

Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t

Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t

Regatta floats funds even when boats don’t


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