2006-06-22 / News

Island fools will rule on Aug. 19 in annual regatta

The 29th annual Fools' Rules Regatta will be held on Saturday, Aug. 19, at the town beach at East Ferry. The rain date will be Sunday.

The cannon will be fired at 9 a.m. to begin construction of "vessels," and entrants are given two hours to fully construct a sailing craft on the beach completely from non-marine items.

The craft may be pre-constructed, but it must be disassembled and rebuilt on the beach. Races begin at 11 a.m. with the firing of the cannon.

This year's event will be dedicated to Karl B. Smith, its founder, who passed away this past winter.

Vessels compete for first, second, and third place in each class. The number of participants on each vessel determines these classes: one, two, three, four, and five or more. Coveted awards of the day include the Karl Smith Most Ingenious Design, the Worst Example of Naval Architecture, and the Frank Newman Judges' Award. Although the highlight of the regatta is often the Unlimited Class, whose vessels range from 15 to over 40 feet in length and are crewed by a dozen or more hardy fools, the Class 1 participants, who in the past have included one child in a sandbox propelled by an umbrella, are equally as engaging.

Past regattas have been featured in the National Geographic World Magazine, Yankee magazine, and in Rhode Island Monthly magazine.

The event is open to anyone who likes to have fun and be foolish, and there is no entry fee.

This year's chairman of the event will again be Chief Fool Chris Powell. For more information and the complete regatta rules, call 4231492 or visit the Jamestown Yacht Club's Web site at www.jyc.org.

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