Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Rockville Regatta Redux ( a pending disaster?)

After more than two years of writing this blog I've noticed that certain posts get picked up nearly on a daily basis. And many of these "repeat offenders" get comented upon months (even years) later. One of the most prominent of these is a series of posts I've done on the annual "Rockville Regatta" held in low country coastal South Carolina. You can go back and read the posts for more detail on the event - billed as NASCAR meets Wimbledon - but the topic of today is not so much the regatta as the tenor of the comment that came in yesterday. Here it is below in light blue this case "Emily" is a woman who commented previously discussing how much she enjoyed the Rockville event and what a fine tradition it was in low country sailing.

I've known Emily since she was a sprout and where ever she would be there would be fun. She is just one of those wonderful, good people. But the Regatta is known also as one of the greatest disasters waiting to happen on the water. The amount of booze consumed is staggering. The number of total idiots, drunk ones, on anything that floats is frightening. The overloaded water craft some with mere inches of free board abound. Amid this flotilla of madness a boat race is attempted. It will all come to an end one day when there is a large disaster and young people are drowned. Perhaps one day it will return to a series of boat races rather than a floating drunk-fest. Its no safer ashore. The small road to Rockville is a death trap on that weekend.
Like so many things that once, when life was simpler, the Regatta was great fun. Now its an excuse for bad behavior, dangerous behavior, drunken behavior buy hoards of people who wouldn't know a Sea Island Scow from the Queen Mary. I won't take my boat near the place.

I have to give this reader credit. Given that many people view this event as a throw down, party to hell and back kind of occasion the note of caution is refreshing...and potentially prescient. It certainly sounds as if there is ample reason to be concerned.

From a larger perspective it's an interesting topic. The number of sailing events that have cascaded in a possibly dangerous way past their original intent are legion, I can think of three or four just off the top of my head!

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