MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan- Misawa Air Base sailors assigned to Naval Air Facility Misawa, and its tenant and deployed commands, took part in the annual Navy Misawa Boat Regatta, Aug. 17.
The regatta required each team to construct a homemade boat from scratch without utilizing actual boating materials. The teams then paired off in timed heats that required each six-sailor team to paddle around the perimeter of the base’s beach, culminating with a beach landing. Once the teams hit the beach, they were bombarded by water balloons as they attempted to be the first team to plant their boat’s flag on the opposing team’s shoreline.
The top two teams with the quickest heat times went on to face each other in the championship round. This year, Van Operation Detachment 2 was crowned the champions, as they cruised to victory over Aviation Support Division Misawa and halted Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Detachment Misawa’s three-year reign as Navy Misawa regatta champions.
Regardless of outcome, this year’s regatta brought out a lot of smiles and support from the hundreds of regatta fans that lined the beach.
“This year we had a lot of interest and ultimately 12 teams took part,” said Lt. Will Welsh, a native of New London, N.C., and the commodore for the event. “The purpose of the boat regatta is to bring people together and have them take part in this fun, competitive event. I think everyone had a good time watching the races and interacting with each other.”
“I think events like this bring a lot of camaraderie between commands and today has truly been a lot of fun,” said Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Benjamin, Patrol Squadron 8, maintenance officer. “You could tell a lot of planning was put into this event, and it provided a lot of entertainment for everyone in attendance.”
The day was especially rewarding for the VOD 2 team, which is currently deployed to Misawa with Electronic Attack Squadron 132. Their small 15-man detachment managed to beat out all other teams despite facing adversity along the way.
“We had great teamwork,” said Aviation Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Steven Gibbs, VOD-2 regatta team captain. “Even though we broke a paddle out there, we still managed to work together as a team and push our way to shore.”
Naval Air Facility Misawa is an associate command of Misawa Air Base. It provides aviation and ground logistic support and services to all forward deployed and transient Navy and Marine Corps forces in northern Japan.
For more news from Naval Air Facility Misawa, visit https://www.cnic.navy.mil/misawa/index.htm or check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nafmisawa.