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homemade boats

By Samantha Rutt

Stony Brook University students set sail on the 35th annual Roth Pond Regatta Friday, April 26. Since 1989, this beloved tradition has been making waves on campus, marking the beginning of final exams with a spirited competition like no other.

Students put their creativity and ingenuity to the test as they constructed one-, two- and four-person homemade boats with nothing more than cardboard, duct tape, string and paint. Each year, the student-made makeshift vessels attempt to navigate across the 200-yard Roth Pond in a race to the finish line.

This year’s theme, A Fairy Tale Regatta: This Is Our Swamp, provided a whimsical twist to the competition. The race featured several judges who awarded points based on design, appearance, seaworthiness, originality, spirit, environmental sustainability, endurance and adherence to the rules. 

Notably, the Roth Pond Regatta has earned recognition beyond campus borders, winning the National Association for Campus Activities Your Best Campus Tradition contest for schools with more than 5,000 students.

In coordination with the SBU School of Communication and Journalism, the entire Roth Pond Regatta was broadcast live on YouTube and is available for subsequent viewing.