LINCOLN, Maine — After having his family’s entry into the 2014 Lincoln Homecoming Festival’s “Redneck Regatta” sink about halfway through the 300-foot race course, Lucas Vanadestine said he already knows what next year’s entry will need:
More duct tape.
“We tipped it over right at the [starting] line because it was very tippy and as soon as we got water in it, that was the end of it,” the 37-year-old said Saturday of his family’s watercraft. “We had to get rescued. It was a lot of fun. We made it back and now it has entered its home in the Dumpster.”
Organizers estimated that close to 1,000 people crowded around the pier at St. Thomas Park to watch the event. The 11 cardboard craft were shaped like dragsters, spacecraft, jets, fishing boats, flat rafts and, well, just plain old boxes.
Aside from their gunboat-gray duct tape, the boats were colorful and thoughtfully designed. One resembled an Air Force jet, perhaps an A-10 Thunderbolt, right down to the shark mouth painted on its bow.
Participants said the most crucial element to any redneck racer is the tape. That’s what keeps out the water, said James Kneeland of Lincoln. He said his raftlike and unnamed entry into the regatta won first place in the “Family” category, finishing in a smart 1:21.
“Flotation was the biggest thing. You had to keep water from getting inside it,” the 45-year-old Lincoln man said. “We double-wrapped everything with tape.”
Duct tape was what his craft lacked, Vanadestine said.
“Our biggest problem was we had a lot of soft cardboard and not enough duct tape,” he said.