By SHIRLEY PULAWSKI
OBSERVER Staff Writer
Revelry, laughter and friendly competition were a big part of Wreck and Roll in Dunkirk this Saturday, despite the threat of bad weather.
OBSERVER Photos by Shirley Pulawski
Despite the threat of rain, boaters, pirates and revelers of all ages enjoyed the warm weather and bawdy atmosphere at Wreck and Roll on the pier on Saturday.
"It's not the size of the boat that counts, it's the motion of the ocean," said a member of Team Richard's band of pirates, after sailing the S.S. Richard in The Pirates of Chadwick Bay "Anything that Floats" race.
When asked how Lake Erie might compare to the ocean, Captain Wiz of Team Richard replied, "We're Polish."
Brooks Memorial Hospital Patient Experience Coordin-ator Desiree Coon said the S.S. Pride of Brooks was a worthy vessel.
"We've done this for three years. We're not going to sink this year," Coon stated.
"We had even better engineering this year," Coon explained.
Captain Ron of the S.S. Pride of Brooks said he had "plans to sink the other boats."
Alas, the S.S. Pride of Brooks came in second in the race. "Argggghhhh!" was Captain Ron's response to the matter.
"It's a great team-building experience and part of our recruitment and retention program. Our employees love it. We'll be talking about this for the next six months, and then start planning for it for six months after that," Coon said.
"We have people participating from every department. Our hospital is really part of this community," Coon stated.
Last year, the Brooks team included a man in diapers for their "Born at Brooks" theme. This year's theme featured all crew members dressed in black and white pirate garb, matching blue life jackets, and as a mascot, a skeleton perched in a basket on the mast.
A spokesperson for the Promber and Katta family's S.S. Blue Pearl said they were hoping to do better this year. "Last year, they sank," the spokesperson said. This year, the team capsized shortly after entering the water, but the boat stayed afloat. One sailor managed to stay on board while two others helped propel the ship from within the water. "I'm getting tired," proclaimed one of the young swimmers behind the boat as the team returned to shore.
As the last boats came in during the final round, the sun began to shine. Festival goers had plenty to do with live music, a chicken wing competition, and a bull riding pit, among other attractions.
Marian Watkins of Saegertown, Pa. Said she and her family were camping in the area and delighted to have the festival on the pier to attend. "I think it's fabulous. I think this is a great time. We didn't know about it until we got here, and are just thrilled to be able to spend the weekend this way," Watkins said.
Watkins also noted the ingenuity of the many sailors. Of the S.S. Bounty Hunter, Watkins said, "They started leaking as soon as they got in the water, so one of the guys stuck his gum in the hole to stop it. Then his paddle broke."
Mayor Anthony Dolce said the event is a lot of fun. "It's very exciting. I'm down here with my sister and my son. We really enjoyed watching the boats. Everyone is very creative," Dolce said.