The camo-colored boat built of cardboard and duct tape had the fastest times in each of the three heats, with the fastest time of 1 minute, 13 seconds, and won a trophy for fastest time, as well as winning the competition, Saturday at Dundee Lake Park, out of 14 teams.
Finishing second in the final race to UGA-Griffin was the team from Spalding Regional Medical Center, with a pirate-themed boat, Spalding Regional also won second place for best winning time of 1:27, beating out Spalding County Parks and Recreation team, which finished third with 1 minute, 33 seconds in both their second and third heats.
The theme for the day was United We Rock, and Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots was the them for the Parks and Recreation boat. They also hosted a Rock ‘em, Sock ‘em Robots contest, with the overall winner being “Fred Flintstone” from Perkins.
The Perkins boat had a Flintstones theme and resembled the Flintstones car with employees dressed at Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty. The Perkins team took home three trophies Saturday – People’s Choice, Most Spirited and they won the demolition derby.
Only six of the 14 teams participated in the demolition derby, as the two finalists had yet to race and three of the boats that sank were no long sea worthy. The first team out in the demolition derby was Spalding County Parks and Recreation, who won last year, followed by Caterpillar, Spalding County Fire, First National Bank and Griffin-Spalding County Schools.
The Griffin-Spalding County Schools team also won a trophy for Judges Choice for their red, white and blue, patriotic-themed boat. Picking up the Best Sinking Award was both teams from Southern Crescent Technical College, as both blue and green boats tipped over and sank soon after launch in their first heats.
The annual boat race is a fund-raiser for Griffin Spalding County United Way and is just one of many events the pace-setters have planned to raise money to benefit 18 agencies that service Spalding County including Abundant Life Soup Kitchen, Adult Literacy Program, Boy Scouts of America - Flint River Council, Council on Aging, Georgia Three Rivers Chapter of the American Red Cross,
Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Griffin Area Resource Center, Griffin Area Habitat for Humanity. Hope Health Clinic, House of Hope, Midway Recovery Systems, Partners in Education, Project Linus, Salvation Army, Salvation Army Community Center for Boys and Girls, Spalding Samaritans, Special Olympics and Stepping Stones.
As of Saturday, several of the pacesetters had already met or exceeded their pledges, while others were well on the way, with an estimated total of $230,000 raised or pledged so far. Caterpillar has pledged $90,000 and as of Saturday had exceeded $100,000. They were also grilling hot dogs and hamburgers Saturday, for donations to go to United Way.
The other top pledges made by employees were $30,000 by Spalding Regional Medical Center, $21,000 by United Bank, $20,000 by Griffin-Spalding County Schools, $15,000 by First National Bank, $12,000 by Spalding County, $10,000 by City of Griffin, $10,000 by UGA-Griffin and $9,000 by Perkins, with employees saying they’d already raised $9,865.
The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team was also on hand, just in case, and only had to retrieve parts of boats, but no participants from the water this year.