Rockville Regatta: Lull Before the Storm
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What is not sky, land or Windveil Blue Mustang is the historic Sea Island Yacht Club located on the bank of the Bohickett Creek at Wadmalaw Island, SC. In a few days, Saturday, August 5, these quiet empty spaces will be invaded by sailors, their boats, trailers and equipment. There will also be wall-to-wall spectators, drunk and wild and very loud. There will be hundreds of little bimbettes trying to fill out or perhaps fall out of their abbreviated bathing suits. Every parent cringes in hopes that it will not be their daughter who lifts her top and twirls them for the camera. They live in dread of seeing a TV commercial in the wee hours for, " BABES OF THE ROCKVILLE REGATTA : GIRLS GONE WILD VOL. 50 "
Thus will begin the annual Rockville Regatta. A regatta is a race between sailboats in this case. Every summer there is a series of regattas held at each of the local yacht clubs in the Charleston area and as far north as Wrightsville Beach, NC, and as far south as Savannah. Rockville has hosted a regatta for well over one hundred years. There is some sort of legend that it began as a rivalry between two friends or family members, but such legends are usually created by a two or more drunks who tell some sober person, but later forget that they made it up in the first place.
Different class boats will race at the regatta. The Y-Flyer, Sunfish, E and C Scow series boats, Lasers and many others including the indigenous Sea Island One Design ( SIOD ). The SIOD is a sailboat somewhat boxy in design, but is a sentimental favorite. These are not computer designed esoteric hulls such as Ted Turner might skipper in a stupor, but more home grown in its lines and a great deal less expensive to make. Competition to take home the silver is certainly the objective, but tradition will fill their sails as much as the wind.
The Rockville Regatta is the last race of the series each year. You can be assured that by Sunday evening when all, but a few residual young drunks will have been swept up, the good citizens of tiny, secluded Rockville will feel human once again as life returns to what it seems in the photograph.