Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Race!

The Homeschool Regatta was a great hit with the boys! They loved building their boats with Daddy and highly anticipated the moment they could set them loose on the Huron River. Fortunately, the weather was sunny and somewhat warm (low 70s) for the race because as soon as the boys got to the river, they waded fully in up to their armpits and splashed around before the races even began. I'm not sure they would have even needed the race to entertain them - the water was a tempting distraction in and of itself.
The boys were super enthusiastic about the whole event and keeping track of all of them while holding Delanie proved to be quite a trick. I was certainly glad that Kevin's parents and grandparents came along to cheer the boys on - I'm sure I would have lost a boy down the river if my mother-in-law hadn't kept such a good eye on them all!The first race was held in a deeper tributary of the Huron River and was exclusively for all non-propelled boats that were made by the children themselves (no store-bought or parent-made boats). Only Elijah and Ethan were tall enough to stand at the waist-deep starting line, so they launched Kaden's boat for him.
Unfortunately, both boys got stuck nearer to the shore and toward the back of the starting line because of the confusion and because of the depth of the water. Still, when the race started, all three boats floated well and although none of them won, their designs seemed solid.
It was very interesting to see all of the different ship designs as they raced down the river. There were some elaborate ships with masts and sails, quite a few boats made out of pop bottles and plastic storage containers, and there was even one "ship" that looked suspiciously a lot like a flip flop! I believe the boat that ended up winning the first race was a wooden boat cut in a speed-boat design - simple, classic and apparently fast!
A second race was also held in this location for all of the kit boats, store-bought boats and parent-made boats. We weren't involved in that race so the boys just enjoyed swimming along the edge a little bit longer.
The next race was held at a more preschool-friendly location and Kaden was able to be directly involved this time. However, the starting line was even more packed here since the river was narrower and the age-span more diverse.
I felt bad for Elijah and Kaden this round because some of the bigger kids stepped right in front of them at the starting line, but Ethan made up for their disadvantage. Right at the beginning of the race he stepped out in front of the line of kids and walked behind his boat (even though the kids were told not to), guarding it. He wasn't the only child to do so, but I'm not sure he didn't get some sort of advantage because he did.
video
We all cheered for Ethan when his boat ended up winning the second race! Yay!

I think the boys actually had more fun once the official races were over with just playing in the shallow, rocky stream. The river runs very swiftly at this point and the older kids created a little waterfall out of a bunch of rocks by the mouth of a culvert. Kaden gave me a few scares climbing up and down the steep rocks at the edge of the stream, but that child is fearless and virtually indestructible so he just couldn't understand why his Grammy and I kept calling him and yelling at him.
We spent about another half an hour playing in the water and having fun swimming in both streams. However, our time came to an abrupt end when upstream from the boys we witnessed a deer "dropping its business" in the water. You can imagine how fast the boys booked it out of the water! I don't know that they'll be interested in swimming in that river ever again . . . but then again, they're boys - I'm sure they'll be waist deep before I can stop them next time we're at the park. LOL!
The Homeschool Regatta was a great experience and the boys are already looking forward to the boats they will build next year.

1 comment:

Francis said...

That looks like a great idea! Congrats to Ethan on his excellent guarding and winning of the race! ;-)
We had a field day for our co-op and we could use some better ideas for the preschoolers. Half of them couldn't even do the games... oh well. I guess what we need is a nice little stream and some homemade boats.