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2022 Recycle Regatta

August 20, 2022 @ 9:00 am 11:00 am

Think of the RECYCLE REGATTA like a Pinewood Derby; but with boats! This is a joint parent-racer project. Please feel free to give guidance and minimal assistance, appropriate to the age of your child. This is a chance for your child to enjoy the spirit of friendly competition with their peers. The object is to have the boats as equal as possible and have the race rely on the participants themselves.

Participation Rules >>>

  • The competition is open to all Cub Scouts in Newtown, along with friends and siblings.
  • Each participant may enter one boat in the competition.
  • The boat must have been built during or after July 2022.

Event Format >>>

  • Races will be conducted in two to four rain gutters of equal length filled with water.
  • Participants will race against other participants chosen at random.
  • The competition will be run as a double elimination tournament.

Boat Specifications >>>

  • CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS: Boats must be made from trash and/or recycled items. The participants must find items used and discarded in day-to-day activities, such as items that were going to otherwise be trashed, or material that was used to make meals or projects. (For example, new paper for sails shouldn’t be used, but scrap paper from your recycle bin is A-OK.) Materials such as food, plastic, and wood are all acceptable. Tape is ONLY allowed as a joiner material (i.e. sail to mast), and NOT as a primary construction material (i.e. it can’t be used as waterproofing, siding, etc. No “duct tape” boats allowed.) If you use pieces from toys, they should be damaged or broken, not parts from a usable toy. (i.e. no Lego boats or ship models). No items should be purchased to build your boat!
  • SIZE SPECS: The following specs must be adhered to – all finished boats must fit within these parameters.
    • Length – The finished boat must be no longer than 8” max and no shorter than 7”.
    • Width – The finished boat must be less than 3-1/2″ wide. Any outriggers must fit within the overall width of 3-1/2”
    • Depth – The gutters are 3” deep, so your boat must float and fit accordingly. Trust us, a boat dragging on the bottom isn’t going to win any races! Keels and daggerboards are acceptable.
    • Mast Height – the mast may not be higher than 7” from the deck, nor shorter than 5” from the deck. The “deck” is the flat part of the boat, where the mast is attached. The mast MUST BE perpendicular (90 degrees) to the hull, angling the mast in any direction is not allowed. Multiple masts on a single boat are allowed.
    • Sails – The sail should also not extend beyond the overall width of 3-1/2” for it may hang up on the rain gutter. It is recommended that the sail should only be attached to the mast by glue, mechanical fasteners should be avoided and the sail should not be in contact with any part of the boat except the mast. Tape should be avoided as it will lose adhesion when it gets wet.
  • SHIP NAME: BE SURE TO PUT A NAME ON THE BOAT (and the participant’s name). A boat without a name is bad luck – plus, we need some means of identification for the race. “S.S.” denotes “sailing ship” – other historical or military designations (“U.S.S” or “H.M.S”) are allowed so have fun with it! Once the racing begins the boat may not be altered.

Competition >>>

  • Upon the participant’s arrival, they’ll need to register their boat with the race officials. It will be measured and compared against the Construction & Size Specs. The boat will also be submitted to a buoyancy test to see if it floats. (We HIGHLY recommend that you test your craft at home before bringing it to the regatta.)
  • The race begins once the participant has placed the competing boats against the back wall of the gutter and the race official commands the racers to “GO!”
  • On the starter’s command, the participants will begin racing. Typically participants would blow into the sail to advance them through the water, but due to COVID-19 each racer will use a fireplace bellows to blow air into the sail of their boat. The boat can only be propelled by blowing into the sail using the fireplace bellows.
  • If a boat capsizes or becomes stuck, the participant may only correct the issue by blowing using the fireplace bellows (they cannot touch the boat unless instructed by the race official).
  • The first boat to impact the end of the Raingutter with its nose will be considered the winner of that heat. The finish line official will have the final and ONLY say in determining the winner of that heat. If the finish line official determines the race to have finished in a tie, that heat will be immediately re-run.
  • All decisions by race officials are FINAL. Remember this is a friendly sporting competition.

Rewards and Recognition >>>

The Cub Scout Motto is “DO YOUR BEST.” If you “Do your best” designing, building, painting, and racing your boat, you are already a winner!

SPORTING CONDUCT and FUN are the main objectives for the participants and all to enjoy. The most important values in Recycle Regatta competition are parent/racer participation, good sporting conduct, and learning how to follow rules.

  • There will be six awards total at this event.
  • REDUCE, REUSE, AND RECYCLE is a critical objective for this event. There will be awards presented for the three boats with the “most creative use of recycled materials.”
  • Awards will also be presented for the first, second, and third-place race finishers.

We challenge all participants to be creative and try to find trash that goes fast!




Dave Harrington


Newtown Congregational Church

14 West St
Newtown, CT 06470 United States
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(203) 426-9024
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