Every year since 1989, students have gathered around Roth Pond during the later weeks of the spring semester for one of Stony Brook University’s most coveted and beloved traditions: the Roth Regatta.
Treasured for its exhilarating and carefree atmosphere, Roth Regatta challenges students to craft boats out of only three materials: cardboard, duct tape and paint. Students must then race the boats across the murky, green-hued waters of Roth Pond.
The main objective of Stony Brook’s annual Roth Regatta is to win the race by having the sturdiest boat and the fastest rowers, as well as to have fun, of course. There are subcategories of the competition that boats are judged as well, such as “Most Spirited” and “Best in Show.”
For residents of Toscanini College in Tabler Quad, the competition is not their main priority. Despite their success in races, their first concern is having fun creating the boat and further reinforcing the community atmosphere during their boat-building workshops.
Being that residents of Tabler Quad are a part of the Undergraduate College of Arts, Culture and Humanities, many creative boats have come out of Toscanini and the other buildings within the quad over the years.
This year, Toscanini residents Thomas Krahulik and Joshua LaBounty are leading the production of the boat.The theme for this year’s Roth Regatta is “Mainstream Fantasy.”
The residents of Toscanini decided to eliminate the obvious ideas, like “Harry Potter,” and instead come up with something a little more original.
“We then narrowed down the list based on what themes we could use to build a boat that was unique, recognizable, and creative,” Krahulik said. “When it comes time to build the boat, we have many great volunteers who work efficiently and carefully on many different parts of the boat building. We have people working on cutting cardboard, applying duct tape, designing, tracing and painting. Everybody takes on a small task that needs to be done and is very careful with everything they do.”
This year, Toscanini residents chose “Monsters Inc.” to be the theme of their boat. Their runner-up boat ideas were “Toy Story” and Jimmy Neutron’s rocket.
Leading up to the Roth Regatta, members of the building were encouraged to become involved in the making of the boat. Working on it every day of the week, into the early hours of the morning, the boat building team also built a strong friendship.
“Building the boat is something we do every year and we are trying to keep up the tradition of keeping the building together to do this,” LaBounty said.
The unique design featured the main character Boo’s bedroom as the central focal point of the boat.
Naveen Mallangada, a 19-year-old biology major, contributed to the boat’s creation.
“We want to win or at least show something that is nice to look at,” he said.
After Toscanini won its first race on Friday, Andreas Stamatakis, an 18-year-old physics major and one of the rowers of the boat, felt “exhilarated.”
Catherine Feldman and Carlos Del Castillo both rowed along with him.
“It was like an adventure and I think the adrenaline kicked in, we were just rowing as fast as we could,” Feldman said after his first race.
“I was involved in every last step of this boat, from the design in the beginning to the final drawing at the end. All of it,” Stamatakis said. “We were working on this thing day in and day out just for this moment, and it was great.”
Toscanini College took home the “Most Spirited” award at the closing of the Roth Regatta races. The sentiment of working hard together to produce a boat, according to Stamatakis, made them “all very proud.”
Update: Although Toscanini College usually wins “Best in Show,” this year the award went to Benedict College’s boat. The boat was designed to look like Toothless from the movie “How To Train Your Dragon.”