KUAC’s 15th Annual RED GREEN REGATTA was AWESOME POSSUM!
Another “awesome possum” day on the Chena River at the KUAC 15th annual Red Green Regatta!
To translate, Awesome Possum means winner – as in, the Grand Prize winner of a blue LiquidLogic Kayak donated by Paddler’s Cove. The unaccountably cute “playing dead” possum vessel, captained by Craig and Joy Van Dyke, was anything but dead in the water, as it drifted to the finish line with the judge’s respect for their innovative use of duct tape, integration of the Red Green theme, and impressive ability to stay afloat.
Everyone was pleasantly surprised by an “appearance” put in by Red Green himself, in the form of a life-size cut-out of Steve Smith, star of the Red Green Show which airs on AlaskaOne, Saturday nights at 8 p.m. Advance Printing donated the larger-than-life, really, Red Green. Glacier Point Pumping & Thawing rolled out Red Green’s Limousine, an artfully and – it goes without saying– tastefully decorated septic pump truck which added a special something to the day.
The day dawned gray, but a little drizzle did not dampen the spirits of the volunteers and staff who arrived at 8 a.m. , nor the enthusiasm of the captain who pitched a tent on the boat launch to have his craft already afloat when the set-up team arrived. There was a steady arrival of trailers loaded with all manner of semi-floatable vessels and participants festooned in a rainbow of duct tape clothing, including plaid-decorated duct tape life vests, Speedo swim-wear, and superhero costumes that beat anything we’ve seen on Halloween.
As soon as UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers fired off the starting pistol, 80 kooky crafts and their equally krazy-pants crews and captains sped on their way to a record finish time – despite the fact that it’s a flotilla and not a race – all thanks to high water levels and a rapid current. No thanks to the logjam under the Wendell Street bridge, which the Coast Guard Auxiliary set out to help people avoid.
Along the 2.2 nautical mile route, cheering crowds lined the banks and bridges of the Chena, and Craig Smith and his ProMusic raft provided melodic pandemonium, set to the tune of “Can’t You See” and powered by guitar-paddles.
Four-dozen or so volunteers donned safety orange and pitched in to make the event a big success – could not have done it without these fine folks! An extra big round of applause to the tireless crew from the 168th Alaska Air Guard, and their fearless leader and KUAC Community Advisory Council member Tim Carrier, for keeping the chaos at the Graehl Park boat launch to a minimum.
Luke Malek from Compeau’s skippered a crew of six in three boats to tow rafts out into the river at the launch, and others on personal watercraft helped at the take-out point at Pioneer Park. And the mystery boater who brought up the rear of the Regatta while fishing out balloons and other trash from the Chena with a net – we thank you – and the ducklings send their ‘quacks,’ too.
At the finish, ten prizes were awarded, with two Judges’ Choices again, but everyone was a winner – and without doubt, the KUAC Red Green Regatta retains its claim as Alaska’s Premier Duct Tape event!
Thanks to all who contributed photographs, including Deb Lawton, Toka Smith, Michelle Cote, Dorrie Breese, Mark Johnson, Mary Ann Nickles, Craig Lemke, Sheena Cummings, Gretchen Gordon, and Lisa Scerbak!
We send out CONGRATULATIONS to these WINNERS, and our everlasting GRATITUDE to all who made Alaska’s Premier Duct Tape Event a real happening!
Grand Prize Winner of the amazing LiquidLogic Kayak donated by Paddler’s Cove Outfitters:
Awesome Possum #27, Co.Capts. Craig & Joy Van Dyke
2nd Place WINNER of the Floating Cabana Islander with cooler donated by Compeau’s:
Lil’ Red Dragon #69, Capt. Darren Frampton
3rd Place WINNER of a Sporting Tube from Compeau’s:
“Trash” Former # 52, Capt. Leon Walker
4th Place WINNER of a four-person rubber raft and paddles from Compeau’s:
Beaver Lodge #80, Capt. Barbara Bell
Red Lantern – even though this wasn’t a race, at least this vessel came in…in last place!
Troop 92×2 # 63, Co-Capts. Corey Kulis & Seager Stanley
Judges’ Choice (two this year) – a prize just for effort, anything that caught the judges’ imagination or attention!
Alaskan Animal Ice Float #48, Capt. Frank Stelges And The Knot Sure #51, Capt. Steve Hedgecoke
Best Appreciated at a Distance –The further away it is the better it looks!!
Tons of Jugs # 10, Capt. Diane Shoemaker
Most Un “FATHOM” able – given to the vessel that gave it a good go…but in the end sank or barely made it to the finish!
Seasonal Confusion # 19, Capt. Derek Bastille
Sarah Arnold Set up/Registration Capt
Tim Berg Traffic/off loading
Maggie Billington Poster Distribution
Karen Boswood Registration Cc Payment
Ashlee Breese Registration/clipboards in line
Dorrie Breese Registration
Michael Campbell Shore Patrol/Compliance
Tim Carrier Traffic/off loading
Michelle Cote Bridge photos
Donald Cronce Traffic/off loading
Lucas Cronce Traffic/off loading
Sheena Cummings Greeter/Organizer & Information
Pat Czajka Traffic/off loading
Bobby Dubia Traffic/off loading
Patty Dyer-Smith Captain-T-shirt & duct tape table
Tim Ellis Set up/tear down
Eric Falldin Shore Patrol
Jill Falldin Shore Patrol
Tim Gilbert Traffic/off loading
Gretchen Gordon Judge-wrangler
John Gould Boat – towline
Robert Hannon MC
Phil Hunt Traffic/off loading
Michael Hupp Traffic/take out
Greta Johnsen MC
Joane Johnson Shore Patrol
Mark Johnson Set up/Shore Patrol
Pete Kasarskis Shore Patrol/Photos
Abby Kasarskis Shore Patrol/Photos
Rhonda Kitchens Set up/Registration
Deb Lawton Shore Photos
Kyle Malamute Boat – towline
Daylen Malamute Boat – towline
Luke Malek Boat – towline
Keith Martin Keeper of the Peace
Mary Ann Nickles Information Capt
Michael Norwood Traffic/off loading
Janice Norwood Traffic/off loading
Alex Olesen Traffic/take out
Donna Olesen Set up/Marquees/Reg./Liability
Wanda Peros Registration/courier
Sue Rainey Information
Tom Richardson Set up/Marquees
Mikalya Russell Traffic/off loading
Chancellor Brian Rogers Starting official
Deseree Salvador Helpers/Photos
Lazar Salvador Photos/Button-maker
Lisa Scerbak Communications/Volunteers
Ethan Schumaker Shore Patrol
Cindy Schumaker T-shirts & duct tape table/as needed
Lynn Slusher T-shirts
Steve Smith Red Green photo cutout
Toka Smith Red Green photo cutout
Althea St. Martin Information
Lisa Stuby Traffic
Lisa Sundberg Facebook Correspondent
Tammy Tragis-McCook Shore Patrol Capt
Beate Wilson Boat – towline
Tommy Wilson Boat – towline
Caroline Wolf T-shirts
Doug Yoder Set up/T-shirts/Tear down
Mission: Possum JUDGES’ BOAT
Chuck Lemke – Boat Captain
Phyllis Pendergrast – First Mate & Judge
Dermot Cole – Judge
Aileen Cole – Judges’ Helper
Chuck Downham – Judge
Patty Kastelic – Judge
Larry Katkin – Judge
Karen Perdue – Judge
Nancy Russell – Judge
Trent Schoenemann – Judge
Tracy Vanairsdale – Judge
Gretchen Gordon – Judges’ host
SPONSORS & Other Heroes
Bettisworth North – Lead Sponsor
Glacier Point Pumping & Thawing
Alaska Cruise Association
Denali State Bank
North Haven Communities
Dr. Dan Johnson Orthopedics
Paddler’s Cove Outfitters
Dr. Phyllis Pendergrast
River City Imprints
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Special Thanks to:
Advance Printing for Red Green’s “special appearance”
Bettisworth North for your second year as supreme Lead Sponsor
Capt. Chuck Lemke and Phyllis Pendergrast for skippering the Judges’ Boat
Coast Guard Auxiliary for safety patrols on shore and on the water
Compeau’s for donating a raft of floating prizes, and for volunteering to run tow-line boats.
Fairbanks Fire Department for safety support on the river and banks
Graphic North Wayne Clark for long-time support by printing promotional posters and flyers, and staffers Justin and Kelly, for waterproof-printing and special bucket delivery to the judges’ boat!
Great Alaskan Bowl Company for customizing our special gift oars for our sponsors
Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce for organizing Golden Days 2011
Paddler’s Cove Outfitters for donating the Grand Prize LiquidLogic Kayak
Pioneer Park for event assistance and coordination
Pro Music for rockin’ the sound system – Craig, Gabe and the whole guitar-paddlin’ show!
River City Imprints for the bold t-shirts
Sportsman’s Warehouse for donating the ‘thank-you’ oars
Sue Sprinkle and 5th Ave. Design for our eye-catching logo designs
UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers for firing off the starter pistol
UAF Athletics for starter pistol loan
UAF Facilities Services for signs, traffic cones and safety vests