Riotous Regatta

4th annual Arnette House boat race raises spirits and funds


Last minute adjustments during the 4th Annual Arnette House Regatta at Carney island Recreation area Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Ocala, Fla. Competitors competed in self powered boats of all kinds of design. Money raised went to Arnette House. [Alan Youngblood/Special to the Ocala Gazette]

Home » Community
Posted September 14, 2022 | By Susan Smiley-Height
Photos by Alan Youngblood

There was no end to the fun—and soaking wet and giggling participants—in the Arnette House Regatta Boat Race that took place Sept. 10 at the Carney Island Recreation & Conservation Area on Lake Weir.

The motto of “Whatever floats your boat” was carried out by the 10 boats that entered the race. The rules prohibited using kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, pontoons, duct tape, shrink wrap or fiberglass. That meant entrants had to be very creative in trying to make a lake-worthy craft.

“The most unusual boat we had was the boat “Ice Box,” created by Matthew and John Greene. It was unusual and quirky, with its open bottom design and lawn chair seating. The boat lived up to its name in appearance,” said Mia Reed, Community Outreach and Development Coordinator for the Arnette House.

Proceeds from the event, which included vendors, music and games, will benefit the nonprofit organization that provides emergency shelter services, family counseling and other programs to at-risk youth and their families.

“All proceeds of this event are being used for the general funds of all the related expenses that come with caring for our clients,” Reed noted.

By the time all the splashing and laughter subsided, the winners were:

  • First place – Tim Babiarz, “Unsinkable”
  • Second place – Black Label Marine Group, “Megladon”
  • Judge’s Choice Award – Black Label Marine Group, “Megladon”
  • People’s Choice Award – Randy Paradis, “The Flash”

One special honor, for The Wonder That Went Down Under, the award given to the best boat that sank, went to Robert’s Towing and Recovery’s “Tow Away.”

“The boat was shaped like a yellow tow truck with black wording inspired by their main truck but broke down halfway through the race. Our lifeguards had to tow it back to shore,” Reed said.

To learn more about the Arnette House, go to arnettehouse.org

Matthew Greene sprints in his icebox craft during the 4th Annual Arnette House Regatta at Carney island Recreation area Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Ocala, Fla. Competitors competed in self powered boats of all kinds of design. Money raised went to Arnette House. [Alan Youngblood/Special to the Ocala Gazette]

Andon Rortvedt poses during the 4th Annual Arnette House Regatta at Carney island Recreation area Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Ocala, Fla. Competitors competed in self powered boats of all kinds of design. Money raised went to Arnette House. [Alan Youngblood/Special to the Ocala Gazette]

Competitors and staff on the shore during the 4th Annual Arnette House Regatta at Carney island Recreation area Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Ocala, Fla. Competitors competed in self powered boats of all kinds of design. Money raised went to Arnette House. [Alan Youngblood/Special to the Ocala Gazette]