Raingutter Regatta How-To Guide:
Raingutter Regatta is an annual event typically held each September. The event requires cub scouts to build a sail boat utilizing the parts contained in the official BSA Raingutter Regatta trimaran kit. We typically sell these kits at cost during the first pack meeting of the year and at rally nights for signing- up new scouts. The boats are then raced down a length of water-filled rain gutters, powered by the boy blowing into the sail through a soda straw. Each boy will race in several heats and the fastest time overall will determine the winner. Boys only race against other boys in their rank. There is a separate race category for siblings.
Typically the fastest 3 boats from each rank will receive awards. In addition to racing, awards are also typically given for rank favorite, best paint job, best scout theme, most patriotic, etc.
The rules can vary from year to year, but we typically require the boys to build their boats using the parts found in the kit and the boat must look like a typical sail boat. (no re-inventing the design).
This is a great event for new boys to jump right into because no tools are required other than a screwdriver to build the boat and it can usually be done (except for paint) in under an hour.
The morning of the event the raingutters must be set up and filled with water. In addition, someone must be available to register boats as they arrive. Typically, we require all boats to be in no later than 9 AM so that judging can take place. Boys with later race times can drop off their boats and come back later for the race. Each boat should be inspected to ensure that it is within the parameters allowed by the rules. Once inspection has been passed, the boy’s registration information should go into the race computer and his boat will be given a unique race number. Boats are then “impounded” until the end of the races to insure that they are not modified following inspection.
On race day, boys can pick up their boats when their race is called. Each boat should race 1 time in each lane and there should be 2 timers per lane (just in case one doesn’t work). After each heat, the timers will come to a consensus as to who’s time should be the officially reported time. Times are not averaged, The fastest time across all heats will be the time used to determine the winner.
Immediately following the Annual planning meeting in April:
- Cubmaster or Committee Chair should book space in the scout building and/or Asbury hall for the race day.
- Raingutter Regatta Chairperson should be finalized (if one hasn’t already been designated). This person should begin finalizing rules for the event and begin getting volunteers lined up to help run the races and help with setup/teardown. Remember that the Troop needs volunteer service hours and the boys are typically eager to help with such tasks.
- Dates and locations should be confirmed with the church
- Order trophies early in the month. There are a number of vendors out there, but we typically use Award America on Louetta.
- Boat kits should be purchased so that they can be sold at the first pack meeting of the year and during rally night.
- If there is an August Pack meeting an article for the newsletter should be written announcing dates and times.
- Early in the month, race rules should be distributed to the pack.
- Races should be held.
- Have a follow-up article in newsletter with names of all prize winners
Race Registration file