There's a boat sinking in the middle of the Willamette River. A large crowd watches on the shoreline as the event comes to a close, looking as if they half expect Celine Dion to show up and regale the crowd with a rendition of "My Heart Will Go On."
It's all in good fun— the sinking just adds to the excitement of the West Linn Old Time Fair's first Recycle Regatta. The event, which was held Saturday, July 15, saw five teams race across the Willamette River in boats made of recycled materials. With safety a top priority at the event, all groups donned life jackets to test the seaworthiness of their boats.
"The hardest part was just getting out there, the drag (of the current)," David Hinton, co-captain of the ill-fated vessel says, moments after picking up the remnants of his boat. "At the end of the day we are here for the spirit of the Old Time Fair."
The boat, which was entered by the Tuor family and named the Tuortanic, was constructed of many recycled materials, most notably old Dutch Brothers cups. Other entries were made of water bottles, yoga mats and even fence materials.
In a true display of teamwork, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue firemen of Willamette's own Station 59 took first place at the event, their vessel Sea You Later literally leaving the competition behind. Race organizer Seaneen Rudkin-Manning, dressed to the nines in nautical accessories, gave an enthusiastic play-by-play from the dock, placing medals around the necks of the winners and congratulating each team for their participation.
Rudkin-Manning also gave out the aptly named Titanic Award to the Tuor family's entry, and gave out other honorary awards to each team that participated in the event. For audience members, the event is one they won't soon forget.
"The fair is great becauses it brings everyone together, the town together," Zeb Becker, an onlooker of the event, says. "The DIY (do-it-yourself) of this event is too good."
After the success of this years race, Rudkin-Manning is hopeful that the event will draw even more interest next year.
"I think it was the best ever, and it'll be an annual event. We want groups of all ages," Rudkin-Manning says, her ship captain's hat tipped to the side. "It's so great to see so many people at this event, and we want to continue to grow. To sign up for the event next year they can go to the city's website and look for the Recycle Regatta page in the Old Time Fair section."