2015 RIF Reading is Fun Raft Race. The back story of 4 participants. Bryant Park, Parrot Cove, Royal Poinciana, Sunset Ridge. First thank you for responding to my request for photos and antidotes. Most of the telling is in their own words. Photos were also submitted.
BRYANT PARK “Well we used the same raft from last year with some modification. Darrin Engel, John Szerdi, Herman Robinso, Mark Lurtz, and Ben Ellis were the main workers on the raft. Bryant Park knew we needed a rudder but had little time to dedicate to revamping our raft to accommodate one … so we thought WHY NOT … lets put the rudder on the front and have a blast 🙂 AND WE DID. Luke (nice guy from below)tried to steal our propeller and in turn we made two attempts at stealing Parrot Cove’s Mona Lisa… ALL attempts were complete failures. I think the real story for us is how much fun John and Darrin and Eric and Ben Ellis had building it. We had Faith and Luke Watson and Darrin and Herman do the kids trailer
The kids wanted to be part of the raft team but could not get on board with the filthy warrior look. So Herman allowed us to modify a trailer and create a “float” for the kids for the parade.
PARROT COVE “Here are a few pics from this years build. This is the third year I have been responsible for the construction of Parrot Cove’s raft. The first year was very last-minute. I was approached by a neighbor and great friend Madlyn Mckendry a week before the fourth of July. She just asked, you have tools right? Little did I know the path it would lead me down. Three years later and I have made some great friends and discovered a fiercely competitive nature for raft race!”
Neighbor Bob Lepa disappeared from parties at dusk as he knew once the boys were in bed that it was all hands on deck and it was time to build a raft.. “Luke is a great dad” and The Painting part was another team entirely”
The entire team sported custom-made T-shirts designed by Walter Harper everyone had specific rolls assigned. Camouflage tropical paint was done by Clinty McCoy.
SUNSET RIDGE “Even though Sunset Ridge (and Passion Vine Farm) won the “Run Aground” trophy for last year’s raft, all the parts were re-purposed into rain barrels, sprinklers, and various gardening things. I wasn’t planning on building a raft again this year due to time constraints, but I got the call that a bare raft was available if we wanted it, and I said yes! Thanks to a donation from College Park, we were able to enter this year’s raft race. The big difference between last year and this year was that my son is now 2 and I am doing a lot more reading. I thought it would be fitting to build a raft based on one of his books, “Scuffy the Tugboat”, which is a Golden Book classic. I called the crew from last year’s build and we came together at the last-minute to seal some holes, saw some wood, and grind some bolts off the old raft. With a bit of ingenuity we designed a bow and helm (big enough to store a cooler full of… beverages), and my wife painted the eye’s and windows. The rain didn’t help at all, ruining a lot of our caulk and paint, but we made due. I think it came out great considering we only spent a day on it. The working smoke stack was a big hit at the parade! We learned during the race that Scuffy didn’t like the open water, so we retired him to the bathtub. The bonus is my son thinks I am a tugboat captain”. – Ryan Oblander, Sunset Ridge Neighborhood Association
ROYAL POINCIANA first time entrant. Murphy’s Law “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. Right up to the morning with all the rain. Yet they persevered. The boat was a donation from Mango Grove, as they built a new vessel. Priscilla 2 looked good never won a race but always finished. Poinciana did not have crew, no trailer, Except for AnnaMaria’s determination to be a participant even if just for the parade. (yes I just wrote myself into the 3rd person) We gathered a group and painted, the rains came and the driveway is now a, perfect for an artist. We sent out SOS and found Tropical Ridge neighbor Dan Fry (carpenter, hello Dan!) we had people sign up and drop out. Y”all remember that night with 60 mile per hour wind? well this is what happened.
A silver dollar size hole. Home Depot must love us. We caulked all around. That commercial with the guy in a boat and his b0at bottom is a screen. Well that’s what we used and it worked. The trailer came to us on Friday night. So off we go for our one and only trial run.
We could continue this story with just photos lol. Trial run night before the race, Friday night. As soon as pressure was put on ore locks they popped off.
This from new recruit who met us here for the first time at the boat ramp for the trial. Maggie Ansell sounds familiar? She is the daughter of our children’s Librarian home for the holiday. WE got up early, yes it had rained and we pumped out the water, did the repairs then we still had to decorate and it poured. We spotted this abandoned house with a car port (really? in our neighborhood,) we trespassed.
you know the rest. A clean race, a gracious showing by Royal Poinciana. We are already talking NEW boat.
Just a few pix from the ORIGAMI WONDERS. from Jon Faust Album