HarborFest Model Boat Regatta


Don’t miss this year’s 20th annual HarborFest Model Sailboat Regatta for third-graders on Sunday, June 5, at Baxter’s Pond in Port Washington.

The Regatta is an exciting part of the HarborFest 2016 celebration, where third graders make and sail their own pontoon-style boats made with recycled materials. All third graders who register on race day morning will have a chance to win.

Race day registration times at Baxter’s Pond are staggered for participants, as follows:

• Sousa and Daly: 9:15 a.m.

• Guggenheim and Salem: 10 a.m.

• Manorhaven and St. Peter’s: 10:30 a.m.

The first elimination heat will take place at 10 a.m. with the final heat slated for 11 a.m. The awards ceremony immediately follows.Regatta052516A Regatta052516B Regatta052516C Regatta052516D

The children will compete against other “skippers” from their schools, with the winners of these rounds racing against other schools. During the awards ceremony, awards will go to individual school champions, the first, second and third place overall finishers and the prestigious team spirit award to the school with the highest percent of participation in the Regatta.

The Regatta school instruction chairperson is Marian Weissman. She and many capable volunteer instructors will have met with more than 400 third-graders in all of Port’s elementary schools to show them how to make their boats. Empty milk or juice cartons are transformed into pontoons. Paper and plastic bags are turned into sails. Wooden dowels serve as masts and booms, and slats of wood act as keels to keep the boats sailing upright and straight.

Bill Palafox is the Principal Race Officer (PRO) for the actual race day and responsible for the day’s operation, and is ably supported in many ways by Greg Hovsepian and Mary Lu Dempsey-Palafox.

The first 200 children to register for the event will receive T-shirts, compliments of the Tepper Intergenerational Program of the Port Washington Public Library Foundation. Benefactors for the event are the Baxter’s Pond Foundation and the Nautical Advisory Council of the Port Washington Public Library.
The Regatta was created to fire kids’ imaginations and give them the challenge of creating something themselves, seeing their creation in action, all while learning the principles of buoyancy and sailing.

The Regatta is also a great way for them to begin to develop a lifelong appreciation for the water as well as helping them develop team spirit. Best of luck to all of the racers.


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Port Washington News has served the areas of Port Washington, Sands Point, Baxter Estates, Flower Hill, Port Washington North, Beacon Hill and Manorhaven since 1903, serving as a trusted source for local news and community events.


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