Monday, August 12, 2013

BULLHEAD CITY RIVER REGATTA 2013 (Definitely a crazy event)

We are looking for material from those that attended this years River Regatta.  Video Clips, Photos, stories of survival, the good, the bad, ....and yes the ugly!  We have this short video put together from the little we have so far.

                             Click link to start youtube video

We heard an unofficial count put floaters right at 30,000.  I believe this is about 5,000 more than expected.  Though I drove down from Las Vegas to volunteer this year.  A few years back I was a floater.  That year the total float attendance total was only 5,000.  It seemed a little crazy even then.

This event continues to be highly popular with the locals as well as the many the flock into the area from many other States.  As attendance grows so does efforts to keep up with the ever growing number of attendee's.

Logistics become more like un-steerable chaos. Think of how you would attempt to inflate tens of thousands of air mattresses, inner tubes, and such.  Some of these go beyond the normal pool play toys.  Some are massive.  In fact too large to even fit in your normal backyard swimming pool.  Then of course thousands show up equipped with inflatable flotation devices to insure the beer cooler is never far from reach.

There are elaborate floats.  Some started construction many months ahead of the event.  Others should have spent more time working on their construction methods.  I saw more than one float come drifting past in pieces. or in the process of sinking.

Oh...and how do you transport 30,000 people in a couple hour time frame from numerous Casino/Hotels to the launch points?  Think about that one.  People are way more fun loving and cordial in the morning, as they try to get on the river.  Not as happy and pleasant after drinking alcoholic beverages all day on the water, while baking in the hot sun.  I understand it was pretty hectic from noon on trying to transport wet, tired, and a little tipsy, people back to there hotels or parking area's.It went on into the dark of night.

So moving these floaters around with buses, providing security, assistance, lost and found, standby medical attention, boats, helicopters, ambulances, and land vehicles has to generate a huge tab for the city.  It makes one wonder how something as simple as, how many rolls of toilet paper they must have to stock up on?

I witnessed the huge clean-up project this must generate along the entire river route, and especially at the Rotary Park area.  After everyone is home and looking at photos and talking about how much fun they had.  Or perhaps nursing sunburns and sore feet...saying they will never do it again.  The cleanup must continue well beyond the fun.

Some are offended by the occasional flasher.  Those egged on by those that have been tipping a few too many adult beverages.  Egger on'ers accommodated by many having an equal amount of adult beverages.  Inhibitions cast to the wind.  They say Pasties are a rule. If this behavior bothers you around kids you might have to leave the young ones at home.  I have been in other countries in which most people don't share the same cover it up mentality many in this country do.  I guess we are just a little more up tight about things.

Personally I have more of a problem with the idiots standing on shore, or in other floats, throwing water balloons seemingly as hard as they could.  Anyone arrested for that was well deserving.  Some were not just lobbing gently to get someone wet.  People were hit in the face, broken sunglasses, and I heard others hit in the face while they had a beverage can up to their mouth.  Cut lips and such.  Come on...think about what you are doing. I spoke with several at the "take out" point that had their day ruined.  Luckily I saw nothing serious like a punctured eye or broken teeth. People doing things like this are the ones that cause rules to be made and enforced to protect others while they are trying to have fun.

The event is probably a love it, or leave it event.  Most people seemed to be having a great time.  A small percentage complaining and saying they would never come back.  But from the many people I talked to, I can tell the vast majority are looking forward to 2014.  I am also sure that the City and organizers are looking forward as well.  I know they have improved things each year.  It must be tough trying to compensate for the unknown.  How the attendance always seems to out pace the anticipated amount of sun loving river floaters that are showing up in increasing numbers.

Next year I plan on being a Floater again.

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