Friday, August 17, 2007

Saturday Silliness - Harrison Street Regatta

If you're reading this somewhere in NYC, and you're racking your brains for something entertaining & outdoorsy to do this weeking, this event could be just what you're looking for! Tim Gamble, who keeps an interesting blog on his Message in a Bottle Project and is probably one of the most active kayak volunteers in NY, if not on the entire planet, posted it to the NYCKayaker listserve actually quite a while ago. Sorry for the late notice, work's been crazy & my DSL connection at home appears to be kaput, bleah.

Here's the scene at last year's finish line -

Today's photos are courtesy of Jonathan Barkey - that link leads to lots more pictures of last year's fun. Thanks, Jonathan!

And now, heeeeeere's Tim!

Ladies and Gentlemen of the NYC Boating Community.

The Downtown Boathouse is proud to remind you of the running of the 26th annual Harrison St. Regatta. As always, the Regatta will feature a captivating race, as well as stunning food, fashion, and door prizes.

This year's Regatta will take place on August 18th, 2007.

It is sure to be the social event of the paddling season in New York.

All of the festivities, including the food, and use of the Boathouse boats is 100% free.

The starter’s gun will go off sometime around 2:00PM. We will once again be running “the short course” due to restrictions on open fire cooking at
our other locations. The course is from the Downtown Boathouse Pier 96 location to the Downtown Boathouse 70th St. location. Tactics are still important for a good race time, but navigation should not be a concern.

Stop by anytime that day and reserve a boat. If you have your own boat please bring it, but the Boathouse strives to get our entire fleet on the water. Last year’s Regatta was a truly impressive site with about 60 boats in the water. Last year we ran out of paddles and PFD’s before boats, so even if you don’t bring a boat, please bring a paddle and/or PFD if you have one.

Only about 10 or 20 people in the race are actually trying to go fast. Most people are just out for a fun trip. Experience the glory and pageantry by paddling with over 60 other boats at once. Please don’t be intimidated by the fact that it is technically a race.

The trophy has not been captured by a non-boathouse paddler for over 7 years, and we will be offering a spirited defense this year as well.

The winner of the race is the SECOND boat to cross the finish line. I will
be defending my title, and attempting to “threepeat” by winning for three years in a row. The winner from the previous year, makes the trophy for the next year. I have cooked-up another classic, but it won’t be unveiled until the day of, when the paint will hopefully be dry.

Tim with last year's trophy - lovingly crafted from wood salvaged from the beams of the original Downtown Boathouse at Pier 26!

See for directions to the Pier 96 start, or the 70th Street finish.

Tim Gamble

I'm too pooped to schlep into Manhattan this weekend, been a while since I had 2 consecutive days without leaving the borough of Brooklyn & I sort of need that to happen this weekend, but I have participated in this race & it is extremely entertaining, either as a paddler or just spectating & cheering along. The year I did it, there were enough people who wouldn't play along with the "second place is the winner" rule that it just became a flat-out race (hm, come to think of it, it only takes one fast paddler to do that) - but I've heard that it gets pretty funny when everybody does buy into it - you end up with everybody racing to the finish line - then stopping a foot short, then the jockeying begins, eventually somebody can't stand the pressure anymore & crosses. Mayhem ensues. Boy, wonder how they actually determine the winner in that case anyways?

I'll probably be out on Jamaica Bay myself. Whatever I end up doing, I hope it's nowhere near as interesting as Chalu's Wednesday night paddle was. What a drag...

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