2008-08-21 / News

Foolishness will rule East Ferry this Saturday

The 31st Annual Fools' Rules Regatta will be held this Saturday, Aug. 23, on the Town Beach at East Ferry in Jamestown. The rain date will be the following day.

As always, the cannon will be fired at 9 a.m. to begin construction of the "vessels," and entrants are allowed two hours to construct a sailing craft out of non-marine items on the beach.

The craft may be pre-constructed, but must be broken down and reassembled on the beach to qualify.

Races begin at 11 a.m. with the firing of the cannon to begin the Class 1 race.

Vessels compete for first, second and third place in each class. Classes are determined by the number of participants on each vessel: one, two, three, four, and five or more, called the Unlimited Class. 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 as many as 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.

The event has always attracted regional attention, and participants and spectators come from far and wide. Past regattas have been highlighted in Yankee Magazine and the National Geographic's World magazine. This year's event will again be featured 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 will again be Chief Fool Chris Powell. For information, call 423- 1492, or visit the Web site at www.jyc.org.

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