For a good three years now, Library staff have been plotting a way to build a vessel capable of sailing to France. This year, as we prepared for the 25th Anniversary of the Roth Regatta, it seemed we were about to get our chance! Having mistakenly ordered 150 rolls of duct tape (hey, anyone could make that error!), it was looking increasingly feasible that we might finally be able to use our now superior ship building skills and this insane amount of waterproof tape to construct a truly sea-worthy boat. Alas, the state of New York fortunately has someone responsible on the payroll, and our plan was swiftly foiled. Next year…
The day had arrived and the theme of the much anticipated Stony Brook tradition was announced. Video Games!!! …Huh… Our group was momentarily stumped, since some had not gamed since the release of the then hit game Tennis For Two. But what were we worried about? The Library has its own Game Lab! It was like our own little Regatta Research Station right in our building. We were too giddy for research, however, and time was tight, so we made a quick list of games that some of us vaguely recalled playing and held a vote.
With minimal knowledge of popular games to inspire us, this was how we all visualized our boat midway through our first meeting.
Ideas ranged from the classic arcade game PacMan to the 80s icon Oregon Trail. Surely no one else would be building an ox-drawn covered wagon forging a river. Or would they…? That idea was promptly shut out, which dismayed Kristen who has been unable to find the appropriate event to which she might wear the “You have died of dysentery” t-shirt she was gifted in 2001. Blast! Our group, comprised mostly of active Walk-O-Rama members, was naturally drawn to the image of Mario Brothers’ dinosaur Yoshi. What can I say? We just love dinosaurs who chase after junk food!
Yoshi Topsy-Turvy – our video game inspiration
Walk-O-Rama logo. Strangely similar…
It was perfect. The only thing left to do was determine the best way to make three circular shapes (nose and cheeks) out of cardboard boxes. Hmmm. This concept made our brains hurt, and so we assigned the tedious task to the team’s newest and youngest member, Arielle. She was up to the challenge and made a shockingly realistic looking geometric version of the lovable character. Having successfully performed this feat, we then heaped upon her all the other difficult work, such as making the mushroom hats and recreating a life size Princess Peach. Any volunteers to be the newest member of the team next year? Anyone??
See something awesome in this picture? Thank Arielle Hessler!
For the rest of us, we met during lunch breaks, for hours after work, and even for the good part of one Sunday to construct a boat that would carry our brave crew across Roth Pond. We did not anticipate the rain that poured into the pond for days leading up to race day, making it larger than any of us remembered. We had calculated that the boat should hold at the pond’s original size, but could not vouch for the crew’s safety in these enlarged waters. Was there enough tape to keep the moisture out? If only we had 120 extra rolls to make sure! We wished them luck, and when the horn blew shortly after noon on that fateful day, we gave them our best shove off and held our breath!
What was this? Our little Yoshi, rowed by the three bravest workers in the Library was well in the lead! Moments later, though the competition was creeping closer, they maintained this lead, earning them an enthusiastic burst of excited screams from their fans of all ages in the crowd! Shortly after, they were across the finish line, finishing first in their heat. Library pride was widespread, and strangers yelled “Yoshi!” as we carried the victorious beast back to our starting spot.
It wasn’t a trip to France, but arriving to shore in 1st place somehow seemed even better!
This triumph had us all reeling with glee. We were proud to boast to those who asked that we had already won our heat and were awaiting the next round. This gave hope to other staff who were out with boats of their own that day, such as the brave ladies from HR. Unfortunately for them, the mascot that they had attached to their boat lost his head as they carried it to the start line, which they feared might be a bad omen. But win or lose, sink or float, there was no bad press on this day. Just making an appearance and representing was enough to inspire happiness amongst those in attendance. Competitors became friends, they even shared supplies such as tape, paint, and boots. Kristen lost a boot after a competitor in need asked to borrow them. Though she capsized and was barely able to escape the pond with her life, she was not able to save one boot that was claimed by the choppy waters. Just when we thought this loss of a land crew member might spoil our odds since we were one boot short, the student came through with a new pair of boots and saved the day! Thanks a million, Sunjae
Fellow staff represent their department in this year’s Regatta
Even our competition was friendly and supportive. Gotta love the Regatta!
New friends who loved and lost the same boot
Though we did not come away from the event winning every possible trophy as we had originally envisioned, we did have a great time representing the Library and taking part in our favorite Stony Brook tradition! For next year, we are thinking that Library students and staff should unite to form an armada of sorts to improve our odds of winning. We will begin ordering one roll of duct tape per week in preparation. If all else fails, there’s always France…
Read more about our previous Regattas:
Imagining the Library’s participation in the 2015 Regatta…
Always one upped by Toscanini!!
Operation Score Some Free T-Shirts. Success!!
Ken wins extra fans with a Mario mustache
John, is that you?!!
The only thing better than being at the regatta is being at the regatta when the free ice cream is served!
Seriously guys, this should be the new library uniform
YES WE DID!
One amazing team!