Bote Cote Rough & Ready Boat Building and Racing!
First! To Trevor Twigden, Gary Coombes and Alexandrina Council staffers, all of whom gave their all to make the whole festival fly, putting wind under the wings of the Rough and Ready event.
Second, all the brave and inventive participants and supporters who make the R&R a possibility at all!
Third, The Bote-Cote mob have, from the very first festival in Goolwa the mighty Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart, the burgeoning ‘new’ festivals in Geelong and Paynesville and Sydney, been there from day one.
The high participation is partly a result of the VERY desirable Bote-Cote Rough and Ready Trophies, designed and made in Brompton, SA by City Plastics, not only for Goolwa, but also for Geelong and Paynesville in Victoria.
THANK YOU ALL!
WHAT IS THE ROUGH AND READY BOAT BUILDING COMPETITION?
Trial run of the Sally Hazelgrove, and Linda Pink's 'Bloomers Rig'. Full of wind, and hold nicely!
Usually held over two days, up to eight teams of two have two hours on the first day to build their boat, using three sheets of 4mm marine ply, some nails, some sticks of timber and a 1kg pot of Bote-Cote EGlue. It’s tense business, especially as the clock ticks down.
On the second day the crews reveal to the world the alternative non fossil fuel rigs that have been designed and built at home, usually in great secrecy, in the months prior to the festival.
Once rigged, their boats, one by one, go with serious gravitas, down before the gathering crowds surrounding the starting beach, before taking to the great deep, racing over a sometimes rough and roughly 150m course.
The boats must have the same crew aboard that built the boats, in the race. NO ‘lightening’ of ship is permitted. Each boat must driven by the alternative rig for at least one leg, and or paddled or rowed with the paddles or oars made at the same time as the build on the first day. It is a VERY impressive moment!
The 2019 SA Wooden Boat Festival’s Rough and Ready has seen real growth in the blend of genders and ages, and such incredible creativity with the non fossil fuel drive systems on show. Elon Musk is now sitting up at night, dreaming of Goolwa!
The biggest crowd ever stayed for much of the two hours of the build, cheering the crews on, and marvelling at the skills on display, and the sleekness of most of the designs, and darkly apprehending the potential of some others. And knowing the rules, the knowing were huddled in discussion about the world changing potential of imagined alternative energy or alternative design work that had been going on over the past year.
Blinded by blownout bloomers, Sally and Linda paddle home.
One sad attendee unkindly suggested it was almost as exciting as watching cricket. He left quickly.
An even larger crowd came back on the Sunday afternoon for the festival, and it seems, especially the R&R race off!
For THIS is when the promise of design and build, meets the harsh reality of deliverance!
Channelling the Roman Games, our nautical gladiators acknowledge the crowd, paraphrasing, “We who are about to die, salute you!”
The crowd of course roars its approval, because beneath their gentle wooden boat aesthetic, lies an ancient much darker urge to release the crews and their boats into the lake, with its murky hazard, and rumoured hungry, Piranha like FERAL CARP!
It was such a great race. Huge crowd around ‘the beach’. And those blue Bote-Cote Tee shirts everywhere. The race was over about 150m; 75m each way.
The first casualty was graceful and exciting in defeat. Anne Marmion, and partner Russel Gray, from Hobart, Tasmania (Team Incat) set off in their well crafted multihull, boldly crossing about 3m of water. Ever so gently their fine ferry rolled over, terminally damaging one aka with a sickening crackle, before depositing its crew into the jaws of the threshing carp.
The second (near) casualty was Angelo and Theo Kathigitas’ Team Calypso. Their slightly death wish monohull with stainless steel ducks feet with differential, was truly a star of the show. Angelo and Theo say they were inspired by watching duck’s feet, as they swam around near the Goolwa docks.
Sadly the stainless steel ducks feet got a nasty cramp and one refused to open and close, jamming the differential, and causing Team Calypso to vanish out of the pool and then take a sharp left toward Clayton, one duck’s foot threshing the wee craft in concentric circles, the other seriously disadvantaged.
There were two crews who had such confidence in their boat’s provenance they were prepared to risk drowning their expensive battery drills in pursuit of R&R glory.
Scott Berwick and Mitchell Hall had a two drill rig, with low pitch ex domestic air fan propellers; Brett and Jack Rhodes aboard The Flow had a one drill propeller rig, with a Bunnings umbrella as an auxiliary power source. Team Berwick’s engineer, Mitchell, misjudged the water density, and the power of their drills. After an exciting initial surge, their propellers inverted!
What happened aboard The Flow is still the subject of speculation, but their prop drive was definitely inboard their ship, but replaced by the sturdy deployed Bunning’s umbrella by the time they passed the judges.
2017’s race and alternative drive winners, Paul Cleaver and Jerome Pluck’s twin bicycle Propeller drive Team Punty McPuntface showed initial promise with their twin bicycle prop unit, complete with gears and differential action for manouvering.
Like Angelo’s duck’s feet, mechanical failure took them from the jaws of victory, to victory on appeal, when one of the derailleur gearboxes seized.
The Flow team, using back up Bunnings sail power after their battery propellors failed them.
Sally Hazelgrove and Linda Pink’s very large under garment ushered in an entirely new category, which met the alternative, non fossil fuel drive ambition, but with lashings of serious GORGEOUSNESS, consisting of giant bloomers on a tall twin mast rig.
There was brief moment when their bloomers were full of wind promise, blowing fiercely, but as the wind fell so did their bloomers, which, while diverting, impeded movement across the water.
Jason and Joshua Low ‘Team Iron Dropper’ were this year’s villians, taking serious liberties with the normally very kind judge. They brought in heavy machinery and kept not even sneakily modifying and adding to their already powerful boat, way beyond the two hour limit.
Their boat was first across the line, but on protest they were relegated to equal first with Team Punty McPuntface.
It was so pleasing to see the age spread on the teams, The Flow, Team Iron Dropper come to mind. I especially enjoyed watching dad Olly and daughter Anja who worked just brilliantly. Clever dad, didn’t boss her around once, and they produced a good looking, while bit precarious and fast boat. Great sail rig, made at home by Anja, brilliant colour. Easily the most elegant crew and boat.
All are threatening to come back in 2021. If you are interested and want the new REVISED rules, or have any (kind) suggestions please contact