PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A majestic flotilla takes to the North Shore waters of the Allegheny River for the Regatta’s traditional “Anything That Floats” race.
And they’re off – the Clean Rivers Outrigger took an early lead over a corrugated craft called “Racing for Rocco.”
“We built it out of cardboard and we’re racing for the Rocco memorial dog, for the Pittsburgh Police memorial dog,” said Bob Weir with Racing for Rocco.
Paddlers are driven by pride and prize money.
“They’re racing for their favorite charities,” said Regatta Spokesman Mike Fetchko. “There’s $5,000, first, second and third. So they’ll all get big prize money for their favorite charities.”
On a course of 800 yards, nearly half a nautical mile, waterlogged warriors pressed on. Large crews rowed in unison, while others went at it alone.
Dwaine Gordon of Connellsville paddles a yacht of recycled beer cans.
“Eight ounce, 10 ounce, 12 ounce, 16 ounce and 24 and 25 ounce cans – and 16 ounce bottles,” said Gordon.
And what was in the cooler on his beer can yacht?
“Spare parts … you never know when something’s going to happen,” he said referring to his stash of beers.
Eventually the Three Rivers Outrigger won the race, thanks to crewmembers from the nonprofit “Paddle Without Pollution.”
The Clean Rivers Outrigger was made up of plastic barrels and empty water bottles – even a pair of old snow skis, all of which were found in the river.