Two girls on a square raft whose only floatation comes from dozens of plastic soda bottles secured to its bottom, and whose propulsion comes from paddles in the crew's hands.
A pirate ship, also floated by nothing but plastic bottles. And a trimaran made from PVC pipe and... well, you get the idea.
This event is put on by the Hernando De Soto Historical Society as part of their annual Heritage Festival. Here's what their Web site said about the Bottle Boat Regatta:
Wet, wacky and wild! The De Soto Heritage Festival Bottle Boat Regatta is packed full of fun and will be held again this year on the South side of the Palma Sola Causeway. Bring the family out to see teams compete in home made boats of all shapes, sizes and themes!
And so it was. Daughtery Elementary School had multiple boats and a bus full of students, teachers, staff, and parents to cheer on their brave sailors.
This year the weather was perfect for bottle boat paddling at the west end of the Palma Sola Causeway. The 2009 bottle boat regatta was much rougher, as this video shows.
(For those of you who want to get totally into the bottle boat thing, check out JUNK, a plastic bottle-floated raft that sailed from California to Hawaii in the summer of 2008. If you're not *that* enthusiastic about the idea, but still think bottle-boating looks like fun, maybe you and some friends can enter the De Soto bottle boat regatta next year. The Bradenton Times would love to see you there! )
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