By Doris E Rufli
On a bright Sunday morning, six teams arrived at Ruth Lake Park on Eagle Creek Road – about 10 kilometres beyond Forest Grove – in order to build and race in the Fourth Annual Redneck Regatta.
The rules were simple and straight-forward. Boats had to be constructed of recycled materials only, which could be pre-cut but not pre-assembled. They had to be completed onsite between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon, after which they would be inspected.
The crew had to consist of at least two members and the boats had to be propelled by people or wind power only. However, the first and most important instruction was to have fun!
Families, friends and individuals took advantage of the warm and sunny weather to witness the building efforts of the teams.
The organizers – the Forest Grove ’94 Lions – and volunteers prepared the lunch tent and set up for the upcoming race, while also providing coffee and cold drinks.
There was a long lineup for the annual favourite, the “haystack”, but hotdogs and fries were also available, together with water, pop and iced tea.
Spectators soon took their place at the beach, where six “silly boats” were pushed into the water, in readiness for the upcoming regatta at 1 p.m. A record number of boats and skidoos also gathered on the lake, awaiting the race.
A barge complete with water hose was launched. The constructed crafts were required to paddle around the float once and then return to dry land to ring the mounted bell. However, the contenders did not only have to compete with each other, but they also battle through the water rained from above – thanks to the barge occupants.
Encouraged by shouting and hollering from all onlookers, the teams took off with great enthusiasm and to everyone’s great delight, all made it back ashore.
Winning the First to Finish Cup, as well as raising the most money in the Community Organizations category was the team ‘Hope She Floats’ – 100 Mile House Fire Rescue firefighters Adam Ramsay, Timothy Woods, Jon Lavigne, Ranulph Cameron and Ryan Guimond.
Second year runners-up Sandy Foster and Doug White – White Trash – won Super Silliest Sailors award; the Super Silliest Boat trophy went to Pedalers of the Lost Ark went to the Forest Grove Legion team of Robin Clarke and Jim Liddle; and Super Silliest Costumes was won by second year participants the Rift Raft Hosettes, including Heather Van Osch, Dawn Marie and Carmen Vandyk.
Best Team Spirit winners and raising the most money in the family category went to team Deadwood – nine children everybody was rooting for – Will Foster, 10, Mile Foster, 8, Ollie Young, 9, Charlie Young, 7, Tyler Carros, 9, Emma Brennan, 9, Chelsey Carros, 7, Harley Carros, 5, and Riley Dunn, 10.