Last-minute adjustments before cardboard boats hit lake

BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Eight teams set sail on Deer Lake this Saturday when they compete for the RUSH Cup during the annual RUSH Regatta.
Students from Clarkston High School Team RUSH Robotics encourage the community to come out and watch them race cardboard and duct tape boats.
“It’s very entertaining,” said sophomore Elizabeth Williams with Team Six. “It’s a good opportunity to meet lots of cool people and have a good day.”

From left, Kyle Kaufman, Elizabeth Williams, Jenna McCleese, Joe McGowen and Dillan Sherwood aim to win the RUSH Cup. Photos by Wendi Reardon Price

“Going to the regatta is a way for our community to bond with each other, and they are all welcome to come,” added sophomore Isabel Matthews from Team Two. “We want to promote STEM within our community and this is another thing we do.”
Junior Kyle Kaufman, from Team Six, added the race to the dumpster is the funnest to watch.
“Every boat has to sink and the ones that don’t we will make them sink,” he smiled, adding everyone gets involved with the race to the dumpster to throw away all the material.
Freshman Alison Scheil will miss the race but had fun getting to know her team and building the boat for her first regatta.
“I am really disappointed because it would be really fun,” she said about missing it. “Even though the boat will probably sink, it’s fun to be there with people you know. You built the boat with them and you get to see how it works.”
Students compete for the prestigious RUSH Cup which goes to the team who earns the most points in three different categories – Cash Crusaders, Wicked Fast Watercraft and Enterprising & Seaworthy. The maximum points they can earn in one category is 10 points.
“Last year my team won fastest boat, Wicked Fast Watercraft,” said Matthews. “I am excited because it’s going to be different from last year. It will be new. I am curious how it’s going to be.”
Williams added she learned from last year’s race to work with her team.
“I remember last year my team had a really strong boat, but we had problems rowing it – that’s important. During regatta rowing in unison,” she said.
Teams will also compete for best theme and it’s a good mix with Disney, France-themed and Scooby Doo.
Team Six is leaning towards the red, white and blue colors of America because the race is close to the Fourth of July holiday.
Team Two is going for their boat to be really yellow.

From left, Isabel Matthews, Addison McCleese and Alison Scheil.

“Alison came up with the idea of the yellow submarine from the Beatles,” said Matthews. “We stuck to it. Hopefully the yellow submarine does not sink.”
The annual RUSH Regatta is at Deer Lake Beach on Saturday. Races start following the boat parade set, for noon.
“It’s definitely something that is very unique to see – a group of 43 robotics students build cardboard and duct tape boats and race them,” said junior Jenna McCleese, from Team One. “It’s something you don’t hear every day and definitely something you don’t see every day. I remember going to it as a child and thinking that one is definitely going to sink.”