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RECYCLE REGATTA, ST. PETERSBURG, APRIL 18 — Young Sailors Build Boats as Part of Regata del Sol al Sol By Cathy Salustri

O

ne clear Saturday morning in “Historically, crews of one to six April young sailors participated in students build boats from materials a regatta of a different kind. While not such as cardboard, scrap lumber, twoas well-known as the regatta that liter bottles, milk jugs and large plasinspired it, the Recycle Regatta providtic barrels,” according to Marq ed these young competitors a novel Caughell, a Pinellas County public challenge: They had to design, build relations specialist who helped organand race their own boats. To add to the ize the event. “Imaginative crews challenge, they had to build the boats have built some very unusual boats.” almost entirely from reused materials. Indeed, the crews at St. The Recycle Regatta, brainchild of Petersburg’s North Shore Beach Pinellas County Utilities, started as an raced boats built from all sorts of environmentally-centered boat race cast-off materials, but plastic ruled that took place in conjunction with the the day. The East Lake High team grown-up Regata del Sol al Sol from St. built a boat from empty 55-gallon Petersburg to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. chlorine drums while Madeira Beach The boats in the Recycle Regatta race Elementary (and a bevy of other over a 50-yard course rather than 500 crews) had boats made with scores of East Lake High School. From left to right: miles, but for many boats those were pint-size water bottles. Ranjit Vadlamannati, Lauren Valdez, 50 hard yards. Sailors could propel Dillon Snyder and Jason Richmond Conspicuously absent were old their boats using only human or wind kayaks and surfboards, a convention power, and they had to do so from the top of or inside the of the rules: Competitors could not reuse any sort of flotation boats. Swimming behind the boat and pushing the vessel device in building their boat. Qualifying boats could not conalong disqualified a boat and its crew. tain more than 30 percent new materials, and those new

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June 2009

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