Team RUSH prepares for annual Regatta

By Wendi Reardon Price
Staff Writer
— It wouldn’t be summer without students on Clarkston High School Team RUSH 27 Robotics gearing up to make cardboard and duct tape boats to set sail in the annual RUSH Regatta at Deer Lake Beach, July 13.
The ultimate prize for the teams is to win the RUSH Cup, which goes to the team who earns the most points total from Cash Crusaders, Wicked Fast Watercraft and Enterprising & Seaworthy.
“My team is going to win because we already started our fund raising,” said junior Ameera Abdellateef on Team 4, during the second week of the five weeks the teams have to build the boat and raise money for the FIRST Robotics competition season through sponsorships.
Abdellateef added the team has a really thick cardboard which no other team has and has help from previous Team RUSH members and mentors.
“We have an amazing team. Our boat theme is way better than everybody else’s,” she added. “We are going to dominate. We are going to get on that lake. We are going to be the best and win that RUSH Cup. And, we are stronger than everyone else.”
Senior Finn Berard from Team 6 shared his team will leave the beach with the RUSH Cup this year.
“My team is going to win because we have last year’s RUSH Cup champion on our team,” said Berard. “We have a really good group of kids who are working together. We have so much cardboard. We are really doing well with fund-raising and we are very resourceful. There are a lot of strong contenders this year.”
Though Abdellateef and Berard are battling it out for the RUSH Cup, at the end of the day it’s a lot of healthy competition, said Berard.
“We are all going to have fun,” said Abdellateef. “It all helps the team. We hope to raise a lot this year. If we reach the $85,000, Ms. Hughes said she will have something fun for us. We can do it.”
Team RUSH 27 has 16 students returning and 16 new students.
“We have a really good group of kids on the team this year,” Berard said. “Everybody who is on the team right now wants to be on the team. They are happy to be here and are enthusiastic about everything we are doing. It makes everything so much nicer because hey everyone is happy about doing this and want to do this so I want to do this. We are just working together and fueling that passion.”
Both shared it shows. By the second week, Team 4 was less than $300 away from hitting their goal of $12,500, and Team 6 had close to $7,000 pledged.
They added what has helped with fund-raising is motivated students and the success they had in 2024 with winning competitions and the state championship.
“Businesses see we are doing a really great job and they want to support that,” Abdellateef said. “One of my sponsors has only done $500 in the past but this year upped it.”
“We updated our levels too this year,” Berard said, adding businesses sponsoring $2,500 get on the robot.” Our T-shirt, our robot, our branding is seen all over the world and sponsors want to be a part of it – that helps a lot.”
Abdellateef and Berard shared they have learned a lot from previous regattas.
“Choose your attitude,” Abdellateef said. “It’s our summer vacation, and kids are having fun. But, we are here running our summer camps and have to fundraise. We just have to choose our attitude because we know as a whole we are helping our team. This will help us have a great competition season.”
“You want to fundraise early,” Berard added. “You want to collect as soon as you can. Even when you reach your amount, and have some successes don’t give up. The more you can get, the more you help the team.”
The boat must be made out of cardboard and duct tape with one adhesive being used. The teams must meet the overall parameter. On event day, a rope set to the parameter must be able to wrap around the boat.
The teams also show off their creativity with a theme.
Team 4 is doing Disney/Pixar’s “Cars.”
“We are pretty excited,” said Abdellateef. “We are having our boat be the big semi truck, Mack, from the movie. Then, each will pick a car.”
Team 6 is also doing a Disney movie – “Emperor’s New Groove.”
“I think we have a good amount of themes,” said Finn, adding other themes include Fortnite, Scooby Doo and the musical artist, Pitbull, with bald caps and tuxedos.
RUSH Regatta is at Deer Lake Beach, 350 White Lake Road. The boats race at noon, following judging and presentations.
To sponsor a team, please contact Kyle Hughes at

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