Home Entertainment Watch Plywood-and-Duct-Tape Vessels Compete in Wacky Regatta

Watch Plywood-and-Duct-Tape Vessels Compete in Wacky Regatta

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Sean Blaise seems to relax in the water after his Moonshine boat entry partially sunk during the Schooner Wharf Minimal Regatta (Carol Tedesco/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

KEY WEST, Fla. — The current “minimalism” movement took a seafaring spin in Key West Sunday as nearly 20 boats competed in the annual Schooner Wharf Minimal Regatta.

The “sink or swim” challenge, a Memorial Day Weekend tradition in the Florida Keys, took place off the Schooner Wharf Bar in the Key West Historic Seaport.

Rules of the wacky event required each team to build a boat from a single sheet of 4-by-8-foot plywood, two 8-foot-long 2-by-4s, a roll of duct tape and a pound of fasteners.

As hundreds of spectators cheered, the teams’ “designated passengers” attempted to navigate the regatta’s short course without capsizing or sinking their minimal vessels.

Some teams focused on costumes and clever designs. Standouts included “Chick Magnet,” a rooster-themed entry whose captain went down with his ship, the hapless “Mini Moonshine” that just couldn’t seem to stay afloat and a tiny replica schooner flying multiple flags.

Prizes were awarded for the fastest boats, most creative designs, best paint jobs, best costumes and sportsmanship — while the dreaded “sinker” awards recognized the least seaworthy vessels.

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