Sinkers Raises the Bar at HarbourFest
The Recycled Regatta was renamed this year to the “Sinkers Conference” and lived up to its billing on Saturday in front of a huge HarbourFest crowd at Dinghy Beach in Pugwash.
Nineteen so-called boats entered the race, each with the hope of actually reaching the finish line. The boats were, by design, made from cardboard and tape, a copious quantity of tape necessary to bear the weight of at least two people per vessel.
The popular event includes a lot of kids. In fact, the minimum age is seven but there is no maximum so entries included some “big kids” like mothers and children, and a grandfather and grandson tandem.
The vessels ranged from a two-person kayak replica (the eventual winner) to a sophisticated model of The Orca, the fishing boat from the movie Jaws. The rather creatively named boats ranged from visions of seaworthiness to simple cardboard boxes with a makeshift bow.
While paddles and oars were the only items that allowed for a wooden handle, the actual paddle portion was still required to be cardboard, a rule that proved awkward for a few racers. While some vessels withstood the water, the paddles did not, leaving racers to improvise though generally without much success.
There were competitions within families as with siblings and cousins doing battle, sometimes with parents. The most notable pitted the Panda Express against the Pander Eater and while the Eater did not consume the Express, it did win the race title.
The photos below show the creative nature of the boatbuilders, while the video shows that some designers need to go back to the drawing board.
The size of the crowd and the volume of laughter is a good indication that the Sinkers Conference is a keeper for future editions of HarbourFest.
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