Whaleboat Skills Challenge

July 5, 2014

10:30 am

(Skippers meeting at HDC dock on Fisherman's Pier at 10:00 am)

IMPORTANT! ALL BOATSTEERERS MUST BE CERTIFIED BY MYSTIC SEAPORT.                     If you are a boatsteerer and would like to get certified, please contact Mary K Berkaw Edwards at

If your team doesn’t have a boatsteerer, please contact us. We will do our best to provide one for your team. 

 1. Invitation: The Whaleboat Skills Challenge is open to all teams, including teams formed just for the Challenge. There are no classes.

 2. Equipment: The boatsteerer MUST wear a PFD during the Challenge. Harpoons are NOT allowed on the course.

 3. Format: Two boats at a time will compete simultaneously in a series of consecutive challenges.

 4. The Challenges: Both boats will row to the first buoy at either Lane 1 or Lane 2 (TBD at the skipper's meeting).  Click each Challenge name for an illustration.

 4a. "The Whaleboat Pirouette" or 360 turn challenge - Participants line up, bow facing the Starting Buoy towards the judges. At the sound of the first horn, both boats must turn 360 degrees clockwise (towards starboard) and come to a full stop with the bow facing the Starting Buoy. 

The Challenge: be the team to pirouette the fastest. 

 4b. "The Drunken Captain" or the Slalom - At the second horn, steer the whaleboat around the Starting buoy, leaving it to port, to the slalom course. Buoys are passed: Starting Buoy to port, buoy 2 to starboard, buoy 3 to port and the last buoy to starboard. Each buoy missed adds 30 seconds to the final time. The clock is stopped when your boat has completed the turn around the last buoy, is facing the judges and the boat has come to a complete stop. 

The Challenge: Complete the slalom the fastest.

 4c. "Ramming Speed" or the Power Up to Stop Challenge - From the last buoy, power up to 100% directly towards the Starting Buoy. Without hitting the Starting Buoy, the whaleboat must then come to a complete stop (sterning slightly is also acceptable). 10 seconds will be added to the time for hitting the Starting Buoy. 

The Challenge: Get to the Starting Buoy the fastest and the closest without hitting it.

 4d. "The Friendly Locals" or the One Armed Row While Waving - Upon completion of "Ramming Speed”, while rowing back to the HDC dock, all boats must pass around the Starting Buoy of Lane 2, pass the judges with all rowers rowing with only their outside arm (the one closest to the gunnel). The inside arm will be used to wave to the judges. The boatsteerer should also be waving. 

Points will be awarded for the best wavers and most convincing smiles. 

 5. Awards: Prizes will be awarded for each of the first three Challenges to the crew that achieved the highest/best score in that Challenge in conjunction with the judges score. The crew that achieves the best overall score in all Challenges will be awarded a framed certificate naming them, "The Greatest Whaleboat Crew of the Seven Seas" by the authority of The United States Vice Admiral of the Narrow Seas, Hurk W. Oarsman. Suitable for any den or trophy room.

 6. Entries: Each participant must complete a Registration Form and a Realease of Liability Form. Entries should be mailed or attached to an email, and must be received by June 27th. The team captain should pay the entry fee and identify team members

 7. Entry Fee: $50 per team.

 8. Crew Transfers: At the Harbor Development Commissions dock at Fisherman's Pier.