2012-07-19 / About Town

Get ready for the Fools’ Rules Regatta

The 35th annual Fools’ Rules Regatta will be held on Aug. 11 on the town beach at East Ferry. The rain date will be the following day.

The cannon will be fired at 9 a.m. to begin construction of the “vessels.” Entrants are allowed two hours to construct a sailing craft on the beach, and the vessels must be constructed of non-marine items. The craft may be pre-constructed, but must be disassembled and built again on the beach. 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 or unlimited. Coveted awards of the day include the Karl Smith Most Ingenious Design, the Worst Example of Naval Architechure, and the Frank Newman Judges’ Award. Although the highlight of the regatta is often the unlimited class, whose vessels range from 15 to more than 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. For more information, call the Jamestown Yacht Club at 423-1492.

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