Model boat regatta to benefit charity

August 07, 2010|By Nicole Fuller, The Baltimore Sun

A six-pack of beer and some sailing cloth might seem a dubious construction combination for most Annapolis-area skippers.

But add a little ingenuity, and you've got a model boat fit to compete in this year's "12 oz. Regatta," a quirky boat race that benefits local charity.

Organized by the Chesapeake Outdoor Group, the seventh annual 12 oz. Regatta benefits Annapolis Community Boating, an organization that promotes access to boating, and has held free sailing classes at City Dock. This year's regatta is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 14, at the Port Annapolis Marina Pavilion.

Paul Tickel, vice president and co-founder of the Chesapeake Outdoor Group, said the event is "philanthropy and fun meshed into one."

"Our goal is to provide an outlet for our members to socialize and come out and have fun, but also help a diverse group of charities," Tickel said.

Competitors pay $40 and, about a week before the race, receive a 5-gallon bucket with a six-pack of Budweiser (a sponsor), sailing cloth and common household items — materials they'll use to build a boat.

The finished product must be small enough to fit into the 5-gallon container. The competition is limited to 50 racers in four categories, including a children's leg, which uses root beer cans instead of Budweiser. Boats in the regatta set sail in a man-made pond fashioned with wood and tarp.

The Chesapeake Outdoor Group has about 100 dues-paying members who have a shared love of the outdoors. As a nonprofit group, its members work as volunteers and make donations to a wide variety of groups, including local food pantries, animal shelters and environmental groups, Tickel said.

"Our motto is to be diverse," said Tickel. "We hate being pigeonholed."

For the previous six years, the regatta benefited the Annapolis Maritime Museum, which at the time was a new organization. This year, Tickel said, they decided to lend a hand to a new group, Annapolis Community Boating, which began this year and "matches with our philosophy."

Lorie Stout, executive director of Annapolis Community Boating, said teaming with the group will help the boating organization "rock a little harder." It currently does not have an operating facility. The group has partnered with the Anne Arundel County and Annapolis recreation departments to provide free and subsidized boating education and access to residents.

"It's definitely a big help," Stout said. "They have an established event. It's great to focus our energy together."

The Chesapeake Outdoor Group started by chance, when Tickel and some friends were on vacation in North Carolina. On a windy day, an empty beer can landed in the outdoor swimming pool.

"It started as a joke," said Tickel, who co-founded the group with Ron Katz, the president. "Next thing I knew, we had a competition. By end of the week, we had rules and regulations for racing them."

For more information on the 12 oz. Regatta, go to chesapeakeoutdoorgroup.com

nicole.fuller@baltsun.com

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