375th FSS hosts 10th Annual Boat Regatta

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- The 375th Force Support Squadron’s 10th Annual Boat Regatta took place Aug. 4 at the Scott Fitness Center Pool.

The 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron finished 1st, winning for the second consecutive year. Meanwhile, the Cyberspace Support Squadron placed 2nd, and the 375th Medical Group came in 3rd.

Douglas Hartung, the Outdoor Recreation director, said the regatta rules required each unit to construct a boat entirely out of cardboard and duct tape and then have a two-person team paddle it the length of the pool and back.

Teams competed in multiple heats, and the fastest two boats from each heat competed in the final’s round. The 375th MDG won “most creative boat” as well as “best dressed” for their Mario and Luigi themed vessel. The title of “fastest sinking boat” went to the 375th Security Forces Squadron.

“The purpose of the event is to create team unity and fun competition,” said Hartung. “We started this out as a nice fun competition that the squadrons could compete against each other in. Then it expanded to people outside of the squadrons that wanted to do it.”

Teams came from the wing and mission partners to compete in the regatta. The Fitness Center Pool’s lifeguards participated this year as well.

One of the lifeguards to participate was Jon Thompson, lead lifeguard.

“It brings together a lot of people and a lot of organizations that wouldn’t really have a chance to interact outside of this setting,” said Thompson. “It builds camaraderie and team spirit around the base.”

Thompson said his favorite part of the regatta is watching the second and third heats.

“You really see boats starting to break down,” said Thompson. “The last few teams struggle to the finish line because the boat bottoms kind of come out. It’s pretty funny.”

Hartung said that while the main objective is to see how fast the boats will go, the more exciting objective is to see how fast the boats will sink.

The event has grown since its launch 10 years ago. Then, prizes were only given out for the top few fastest boats. Now, the event encourages teams and their support staff to dress in costumes.

“We’ve added support staff,” Hartung said. “Because only two people can ride in the boat, a lot of squadrons will have 15 or 20 people there rooting them on, and they’ll all be dressed in costumes.”

After working for Outdoor Recreation for the past 15 years and organizing the past 10 regattas, Hartung is retiring this September and hopes that the regatta will continue to happen in the future.