“Full of potential.” That was the verdict from Rarotonga Sailing Club Commodore Tom McDonald, assessing some
entrants in the club’s Inaugural Sustainable Raft Race 2019.
The vessels came in all shapes and sizes yesterday, from storage pallets barely floating above the water, to the Commodore’s own flagship, a barbecue table with an outboard motor and parasol that proudly carried his family back and forth between Muri and Koromiri Motu.
“Our one is probably a bit like myself, built for comfort, not built for speed,” McDonald laughed. “We’ll be looking to come up with a Mark 2 next year – not sure that we’ll step up to foiling it quite yet!”
The star of the raft regatta, though, was something close to a work of art. Siblings Maya, Olivia and Edmund Postrzygacz made their vessel from scrap. It featured oil drums from Trader Jack’s, a discarded bike frame, a broken angle grinder and some tent poles from General Transport, and a propeller courtesy of Keith Christian. The family worked together over a couple of days to put it together – but yesterday was its water test.
It passed with flying colours.
The theme of the race was sustainability and reusing, McDonald said. “A lot of the craft today were built out of recycled polyethylene drums, I saw 200 litre drums out there on the water, I saw a bathtub with various bits of plumbing and pipework stuck together. I haven’t seen the likes of this before. I’ve always dreamed of it, we’ve joked of having a raft race in the past, and I have to say this weekend is the culmination of the sailing year.”
McDonald thanked members and sponsors.