The Fools rule again at the 29th annual JYC regatta
Trucks, vans, and cars pulling trailers of various dimensions jockeyed for parking places shortly after 8 a.m. along the town-owned beach at East Ferry last Saturday morning. They were loaded with building materials, tools, and crews, scurrying about to get ready for the not-too-nautical nonsensical sailing event of 2006, the Jamestown Yacht Club's 29th annual Fools' Rules Regatta.
This year the nationallyfamous sailboat race was held in honor of its founder, Karl Smith, who recently passed away two weeks before his 90th birthday.
With hammers raised, screwdrivers aligned, and saws poised at the ready, the wannabe shipwrights of the sailing set waited for - BOOM! The first cannon that sounded at 9 a.m. sharp to signal the start of the construction phase of the craziest configurations of comical craft to grace the waters of any of the seven seas.
Chris Powell, chief fool for the past 25 years, marched up and down the beach, bullhorn in hand, pontificating, encouraging, and inspecting the handiwork of the foolhardy fabricators of seaworthless vessels. Those he caught float testing their contrived contraptions before the race were terrorized with threats of walking the plank and unceremonious public scuttling of their calamitous craft.
Dressed in full fool's regalia, Powell donned a straw boater and red bow tie to accessorize his crisp white shirt, hot blue blazer and shorts, accented by stylish socks, one red and one green. Johnny Depp, in all his sartorial splendor as Captain Jack Sparrow of Black Pearl fame, had nothing on Commodore Powell as he oversaw the activities of his fleet of fools.
While Chris fulfilled his duties as chief fool, Chris' wife, First Fool Candy Powell, took command of the registration desk and
administrative chores. With the help of Dureen Breyer and Linda Flinton, the comical contest ran smoothly without foolish errors.
Judy Calabretta, Jill Anderson, Larry Buckley and Betty Buckley manned the Fools' Rules T-shirt booth with the expertise of seasoned tailors at a high-end haberdashery. Since there is no entry fee, the proceeds pay for the expenses of hosting the event. The money is deposited into a separate account and at the club's annual meeting, yacht club members vote to decide what charity will benefit from leftover funds.
Formidable competition came from as far away as Ohio, Connecticut, and Boston to compete in the annual sailing extravaganza and media event. Of the 62 entries competing for prizes, 41 were from Jamestown.
Captain Mariah Titlow of Boston took charge of the crew of Charlie's Revenge, the Beantown entry named after the Charles River. When asked if they
thought they would win, the crew laughed. Then Titlow added, "That would be a complete accident. We're going for the Worst Example of Naval Architecture award." A noble ambition indeed. Unfortunately, their design was too good for the bad-boat prize.
12-year Fools' Rules veteran and Jamestowner, Captain Cate Brennan, 14, along with her all girl crew consisting of Megan Farley, Devan Moran, and Amanda O'Brien livened up the Class 4 race on Kool Kids Klan.
Bubble-wrapped sonotubes kept Seafare afloat for Jamestown Captain Jeff Hunter, the chief gourmand, and his crew of nonsensical nautical ne'er-do-wells that was suspiciously devoid of women. This was Hunter's fifth foolish regatta. In previous attempts, he sank twice, won a first in class, and placed third. Although they didn't win, place or sink, the Seafare was the recipient of the distinguished Worst Example of Naval Architecture award.
The S.S. Not What It's Quacked Up To Be of Taunton Mass., quacked up spectators and participants alike with Captain Bob Boyer's all-family crew of 10 in the Unlimited Class. For their maiden voyage, they attribute their lack-of-success to their nautical building technique of using Styrofoam, rubber ducks, and a crew dressed in quack Tshirts that they hoped would garner a win. Despite their errant efforts, the boat did live up to its name.
Jamestowner Amina Brown, 10, has four years of foolish competition under her belt, making her well qualified to captain the all-girl crew of eight in the unlimited class on Bridge Go Boom, a floating replica of the old Jamestown Bridge. Although the sheworthy vessel showed her stuff once she got going, her attained speed was a bit too late to capture a win against the big boys on Caddy Shack. However, the girls did place second-inclass and won the Frank Newman Judges Award, as predicted by crewmember Ella Sampou, 11, who said, "We'll win something just for looking so cool."
The big winners this year in the Unlimited Class built a golf green on a raft and putted their way to a decisive finish. The all-male crew on the Jamestown vessel, Caddy Shack, captained by John Chase, 16, had the ultimate vacation experience by combining sailing, golf, and partying all at the same time. "Not an easy feat that should only be attempted by professionals," so they said. Wooden palettes, foam, elastic,
and Astroturf were their construction secrets for winning the foolish flotilla's first-place prize. These boys knew how to "Get 'er done!"
"Everybody was orderly, wellmannered, and enthusiastic," said Jamestown Police Officer Joel Pinocci as he directed traffic to designated parking areas for the event. "Our job couldn't have been easier."
"Business was brisk," said Jennifer Talancy, who runs her organic produce stand on the green overlooking the East Ferry beach every Saturday morning during the summer. "The Fools' Rule Regatta attracts good people. They like their veggies," she added.
29th Annual Fools' Rules Regatta Results Class 1 First Place - "Tube Time" - Alex Pardus (Jamestown) Second Place - "Duc Tape Monster" - Lauren McDonough (Jamestown) Third Place - "Spruce Hill" - Cindi Mastini (Ohio) Class 2 First Place - "Sail Mary" - William Fennell (N. Kingstown) Second Place - "The Door-e" - Garrett Reis, Max Marson (Jamestown) Third Place - "Pirates' Picnic" - Erica Lush, Madelaine Crabtree (Jamestown) Class 3 First Place - "Triple Threat" - Philip & Claire Steggall. Greg Grisevich (Jamestown) Second Place - "Fool of Wind" - Joe Logan, Can & Jeffrey Huber (Jamestown) Third Place - "The Winkle" - Mandy 7 Easton Joyce, Abigail Stansfield (Newport) Class 4 First Place - "Water Bug" - Ali & Georgia Glassie, Stephanie Smith, Garrett Hall (Jamestown) Second Place - "Faella Farm" - Andrea Northup, Chris Faella (Narragansett) Third Place - "Buzzy" - Jacob & Aliza Gomez, Matt Demiri, Connor Bois (Jamestown) Unlimited First Place - "Caddy Shack" - John Chase (Jamestown) Second Place - "Bridge Go Boom" - Amina Brown (Jamestown) Third Place - "Linn's Express" - Ted Linn (Connecticut) Karl Smith Most Ingenious Design Award "Triple Threat" - Philip & Claire Steggall, Greg Grisevich (Jamestown) Worst Example of Naval Architecture Award "Sea Fare" - Jeff Hunter (Jamestown) Frank Newman Judges' Award - "Bridge Go Boom" - Amina Brown (Jamestown)