2018 Was a Year of Firsts. It was the first time hulled craft were allowed to race in their own division. Who’d have thought someone would enter a jet aircraft - powered by dual Limebikes It was the second time a team of high school students designed and built their own raft, but it was the first time it won People’s Choice. And, it was the first time a band on a barge entertained spectators up and down the river - especially one dressed as characters from Gilligan’s Island, the classic, beloved TV sitcom.
It Ain’t All Fun & Games. Putting on this race is an enormous undertaking. Hats off to all the volunteers who make it possible, including those who donate their time and their boats to keep competitors and spectators safe. That means you, too, law enforcement teams on sea and on land. Thank you. Thanks to the generous sponsors who gave up their treasure to help make our day in the sun possible. You’ll see their logos along the right side of this website. And let’s not forget all the raft builders who worked nights and weekends planning, designing, joining, carving, framing, sculpting, painting, nailing and bedecking their decks. Oh, and also you spectators! After all, it’s your smiles the shipmates work so hard to turn on.
The Rock, She Was Shining. The river winds past us everyday. Mostly we speed over it or past it and pay it little mind - just as we pay each other little mind, seeing more of each other on little screens, ranting through finger tips flying over keyboards and touchscreens. Some say it even divides us, east and west. On the river on race day, we come together. We see each other and cheer each other. In preparation, we use our hands and our creativity and our ingenuity to get our ships together just so we can paddle like it’s 1999.
But, it’s hard not to laugh and smile: especially at the site of a grown man dressed like Fred Flintstone paddling down the river. Or a craftily constructed biplane. Or a floating cat chasing a mouse. Or a team knocking each other into the river with pugil sticks. Or at a floating Nintendo game bursting with Super Mario Bros characters, trailing floating controllers. It all just makes you wanna say, “Thanks for playing! Way to go!”
Enjoy the pictures and float on, river folk. We hope you enjoyed the 2018 Rock River Anything That Floats Race. Stay tuned for details about next year's race.