The Smithfield Parks and Recreation Department held its 1st Annual River Rat Regatta on the Neuse on Saturday, July 14th starting at the Town Commons Boat Ramp. The Regatta, which challenged competitors to engineer and construct boats from cardboard, duct tape and glue, was held in conjunction with the re-opening of the boat ramp that was recently renovated by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. The event was attended by an estimated 2,500 people.
The race was a timed event with individual start times for each boat. 33 boats entered the Regatta, some with hopes of claiming the title of the events first ever winner and others with the hopes of just finishing the race. 25 of the boats finished the 300 yard race with “BLR Hotrods” outpacing the other boats as the winner. Other Awards included “Expedited Shipping” as the 2nd place boat while “Das Boot” took 3rd place. “Moby Sink” was presented the “Titanic Award” for the boat with the most memorable sinking. “BLR Hotrods” also took home honors for the best decorated boat.
The Smithfield Fire Department along with the Princeton Fire Department patrolled the race in rescue boats to keep competitors safe.