Teams prepare to craft crafts

Competition: The Annapolis Yacht Club will sponsor the 10th Build-A-Boat Contest this weekend.

On The Water

Watersports in Anne Arundel County

July 06, 2005|By Grant Huang | Grant Huang,SUN STAFF

SUMMERTIME in Annapolis is a happening time for all manner of maritime activities. Of course you have your leisure yachting, fishing trips and boat races, but this weekend, something different will be going down.

On Saturday, the Annapolis Yacht Club will hold its 10th annual Build-A-Boat Contest at the AYC annex at 1 Compromise St. Participating teams will build their boats on the shores of Spa Creek by the Eastport drawbridge, then test their seaworthiness before racing one another Sunday.

Eighteen teams are registered to compete; represented are Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, local businesses and individual boating enthusiasts.

The contest begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, when the teams (usually comprising the maximum eight members, but no fewer than three) have five hours to build a racing boat. Boats can be either paddle or sail-powered (paddleboats will race against only paddleboats and sailboats will race against only sailboats).

Each team receives an identical set of building materials: a few sheets of plywood, pieces of construction-grade fir wood, some plastic bundle ties and 10 tubes of Sikaflex adhesive/sealant. The event is sponsored by the Zurich-based Sika Corp., a multinational industrial manufacturing company.

On Sunday afternoon, the first race will begin at 1:19 p.m. - to commemorate the AYC's 119th birthday - from the club's piers.

The public is encouraged to attend and watch the building and racing of the boats. A large turnout is expected.

"Typically the entire span of the Eastport drawbridge will be covered with people, and all three piers and decks of the yacht club will have viewers as well," said D.E. Murray, chairman of the Build-A-Boat Contest. He estimates that last year's contest drew 1,500 to 2,000 spectators.

Scores are based on building time, seaworthiness and race results, but Murray said teams go all-out to win.

"There will be numerous dastardly deeds performed, both during the construction and then all the way through each of the race heats," he said.

Trophies and plaques will be awarded to winners.

The Yacht Club will sell food, including crab cakes, sandwiches and soda, to spectators.

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