Batten the hatches, ye officials!
There's still time to sign up to compete in the Delavan-Darien Cardboard Regatta on Delavan Lake.
Competitors can register the day of the race or in advance.
Race day registration starts at 9 a.m., and races start at 10:30 a.m.
Registration for a two-person boat is $25
A team boat entry for three or more people is $50.
Checks should be sent to Delavan-Darien Rotary Club, c.o. Larry Otto Jr., P.O. Box 521, Delavan WI, 53115
The rules include:
-- Boats must be built entirely of corrugated cardboard. The only exceptions are paddles and decorations.
-- Decorations may not be used to add floatation.
-- Duct tape may be used only to fasten joints. Completely wrapping boats in duct tape is not allowed.
-- Waterproofing is limited to one coat of varnish, paint or polyurethane.
-- Participants must wear lifejackets.
For a complete list of rules and allowable materials, contact Larry Otto Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or (262) 374-4138.
DELAVAN Float like a butterfly,
Sting like a bee,
Put (insert name of governmental unit) at the bottom of the sea.
On Saturday, June 30, some of the biggest names in local government will compete for nautical bragging rights and a traveling trophy in the first Delavan-Darien Cardboard Regatta on Delavan Lake.
"I'm super excited to be representing Darien in the USS Darien," said Diana Dykstra, Darien village administrator and clerk treasurer.
Dykstra and a friend have made two identical versions of her boat and took one out just to make sure it's seaworthy.
"I had to go get a paddle—now I gotta go buy myself a life vest," Dykstra said. "I'm a good swimmer, but I'm not a fan of seaweed."
Dykstra was confident nonetheless.
"I intend to put Darien first in Delavan-Darien," she said.
Dykstra had to dig through the garbage for boat parts. She acknowledged that Delavan Mayor Mel Nieuwenhuis has an edge in that department.
Nieuwenhuis is part of the Nieuwenhuis Bros. waste management company. Just think of the cardboard he must pick up on recycling days.
Nieuwenhuis intends to crush all comers—though he didn't put it quite like that.
"I told (Delavan Chairman) Ryan (Simons) that it would be pretty embarrassing for him for a townie like me to beat a lake-y like him," Nieuwenhuis said.
Nieuwenhuis is building his boat in a bay of the Dousman Bus Co. garage.
A bus bay? Is he building an ocean liner? A fleet?
He wouldn't say.
"I want them to worry," Nieuwenhuis said.
"When—not if—I win the trophy, I'm going to have it on a dais in front of my seat at city council meetings."
Municipal officials will be competing against businesses and individuals for awards ranging from "Titanic"—for the most dramatic sinking—to judges' and spectators' choice.
The event is part of the town of Delavan's Fourth of July Celebration from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, June 30.
Along with soaking wet government officials, it includes a horseshoe tournament, bingo, food and beer tents, activities for children, a dance with the Stateline Playboys, and fireworks.
The Fourth of July celebration is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the Delavan-Darien Rotary Club, said Larry Otto Jr., club service director and race organizer. The club always is trying to keep it fresh,
The race certainly caught on with the municipal officials, who all wanted to express that absolutely no tax dollars were used for any part of their endeavors.
Even Cecil Logterman, the normally staid Darien Town Board chairman, is up for the sea battle.
"We're planning to put up a big wake," Logterman said.
Town board member Matt Smith will be represent the town of Darien.
At first, Smith spoke like a good community member, saying it was important to support the Rotary in all its endeavors.
"I used to take part in the Mallard Ridge Trail Run—Rotary used to run that," Smith said.
Both he and Nieuwenhuis have been kayaking on Turtle Creek. Will that give them an advantage?
"Going down a creek is a lot different than going out on the lake, even if you have a water worthy craft," Smith said. "It really depends on the weather conditions."
Smith acknowledged that the mayor had cardboard dominion over his competitors.
"He's has one of the advantages, as far as resources go, but he's also pretty busy," Smith said.
Smith's goal for the race?
"I'd like to have enough cardboard under me so I don't have to swim home," Smith said.
Oh, and he's dying to win the trophy for his town.
As for Simons, he has formed a committee—a integral step in all governmental deliberations.
"The Delavan Research About Boating committee—DRAB—is currently holed up in a secret location developing our stealth craft," Simons wrote in an email to The Gazette.