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Anything-But-A-Boat Regatta

Source: Oceanus Magazine

Shoveling and splashing toward a finish line ringed with spectators in Woods Hole, WHOI employees and students revived a tradition this summer: the Anything-But-A-Boat Regatta, which was first run to celebrate WHOI’s 50th year in 1980. “The rules are simple,” according to a 1980 WHOI newsletter: “no commercial boats, no commercial boat power, no boats over 20 feet, no boats.” Twelve “unboats” with goofy names and dubious engineering took part. One named “Watergate” was made with a stockade fence atop blocks of foam. The fellow who delivers water cooler refills to WHOI remarked on a sudden temporary dearth of empty bottles that week. The teams vied for prizes, including the coveted “Rubber Ducky” award for the first-place finisher and the “Finding Nemo” award for unboats that “just didn’t float.”

Originally published: August 26, 2005