42nd ANNUAL FOOLS’ RULES REGATTA
Sponsored by the Jamestown Yacht Club
The 42nd Annual Fools’ Rules Regatta will be held on Saturday, August 10, 2019 on the Town Beach, East Ferry in Jamestown, R.I. with the rain date the following day. The cannon will be fired at 9:00 AM to begin construction of the “vessels.” Entrants are allowed two hours to construct a sailing craft (course is down-wind) on the beach, which must be made of non-marine items only. The craft may be pre-constructed, but must be disassembled and built again on the beach. Races begin at 11:00 AM with the firing of a cannon marking the start of the Class 1 race.
Vessels compete for first, second, and third place in each class. Classes are determined by the number of participants on each vessel: Class One, Two, Three, Four, and and then five or more participants delineates the Unlimited Class. Coveted awards include The Karl Smith Most Ingenious Design (founder was Karl Smith), The Worst Example of Naval Architecture, and the Frank Newman Judges’ Award (Frank, the former President of URI, was a long-time participant in the regatta). Although their are highlights in each class, the Unlimited Class with vessels ranging from fifteen to over forty feet in length, crewed by many hardy fools, and Class 1 participants, such as a child in a sandbox propelled by an umbrella, are ingenious and engaging.
The event has always attracted regional attention. Participants and spectators come from far and wide and plan vacations accordingly. Past regattas have been highlighted in Yankee Magazine and the National Geographic’s World magazine. Mat Franco of America’s Got Talent named the Fools’ Rules Regatta as one of his “five favorite things about summer in RI.” In the past, The Fools’ Rules Regatta was named “Best Regatta” in Newport Life Magazine’s “Best of . . “ contest.
The event is open to anyone who likes to have fun and be foolish, and there is no entry fee. Life jackets are required for each participant and an anchoring device is needed for each vessel. Complete information, rules, and entry form can be found on the Jamestown Yacht Club’s website: www.jyc.org. This year the new Chief Fool is Greg Hunter.