Duck Pond Regatta 2018

Our 2018 Summer Challenge Program just completed the 4th Annual Duck Pond Regatta. The rules have two parts. Part #1: Each Discovery Group is provided with a few basic materials — cardboard, wooden stick, duck tape, paint — from which they must create a floating vessel. Part #2: Said vessel must then circumnavigate the Duck Pond by at least one Discovery Group paddler without sinking.

The Regatta has evolved into one of Hyde’s great annual traditions. And it’s a fitting one. I mean, when you think about it, it’s not like we’re the only folks around here who do this sort of thing…

Anyway, MC Matt Kinney got us off to a good start by reviewing the rules of competition.

And I’m happy to say, that we were able to get most people to put aside their cell phones long enough to hear what he had to say.

As might be expected with any group of Hyde students (and faculty) there was considerable mugging for the camera…

And more mugging…

And maybe even a little showing off.

And did I mention that there was a lot of mugging for the camera?

And then “Boat” (Hey, work with me here!) #1 was launched.

It was all smiles at the start…

Until…

And then came Boat #2…

Only to meet the same fate… (All that was missing: Gordon Lightfoot’s “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” playing over a PA system.)

From the outset of its launch, Boat #3 (Spanish Kings) just seemed to exude the quiet confidence of the seasoned mariner…

Strong and steady at the start…

Persevering through the loneliness of the long distance paddler…

And on to set the bar as the first finisher with a time of 8:57!

A few boats that followed caused Team Spanish Kings to sit uneasily in the proverbial post-regatta clubhouse. For one, Famous Meatballs started very strong…

And came oh-so close, sinking just a few feet from the finish…

Others seemed a little less certain. (I had to include my favorite expression of the day.)

And then, the Dubai Devils launched…

Looking very strong at the first turn, regatta judges agreed that the Devils had launched the most seaworthy vessel in the fleet and had matched its engineering capabilities with a very adept navigator.

However, 3/4 of the way around the course, it became apparent that they had not paid sufficient attention to their paddle…

And “For want of a paddle… a regatta was lost.”

In the end, all in attendance agreed that it was one of those days that makes Hyde such a special place. And then we departed, leaving the Duck Pond to its rightful owners.

Onward, Malcolm Gauld