Sunday, October 07, 2007
On a beautiful, warm October day, nice guy finishes last at the 3rd annual Giant Pumpkin Regatta
Women swept the first two places in the 3rd annual Giant Pumpkin Regatta at UW-Madison on Lake Mendota Saturday. Under the watchful, if relaxed, view of the UW Rescue boat that arrived a bit late for the occasion, three UW students paddled their pumpkins in a brief but energetic race for glory. Robyn Donahoe, middle, sped off to an early lead which only lengthened over the course of the race, trailed by Beth Gering, right. Steve Nystrand, left, did his best to uphold male honor, but fell further and further behind while apparently trying to learn pumpkin navigation on the fly. Steve, who appeared to be recruited at random from the bystanders, seemed to be a nice guy -- and he finished last.
Before the race, the recently-carved fleet sat purring confidently with pumpkin power as they awaited the start of the Giant Pumpkin Regatta. The event -- which got off to a newsy start two years ago when spectators collapsed the pier they were standing on (no pier-spectating this time) -- is cosponsored by the Hoofers Sailing Club and the UW Horticulture Department, whose students grew the oversize marine pumpkins. The crafts' sleek racing lines and formidable bulk suggested they might have been descendants of Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin. One, in fact, bore the name Charlie Brown. The other two were SS Squash and King George.