By Beatrice Vantapool & Caithlin Pena
Stony Brook University’s beloved tradition, the Roth Pond Regatta, took a trip back in time to 90s pop culture this year, with a Baywatch life guard boat built by residents of Hamilton College as its winner. The students rowing the boat have won the Regatta for the last three consecutive years.
From replicas of the Titanic to Furbies, Pokémon and Power Rangers, participants relived all the good memories of their younger years.
“A committee of students decided that it would be a fun theme,” said Dr. Susan DiMonda, Associate Dean and Director of Student Life. “There’s lots of different cartoons and different things that happened in the 90s.”
Graduate student Jason Chen, said that he and the Computer and Engineering Honor Society had thought about doing Titanic and Pokémon, but eventually, after a joke suggestion from a friend, chose Power Rangers. The team chose Chen, who had the same first name as one of the characters from the show, to dress up as the Red Ranger.
“I’ve participated in Roth Regatta since my freshman year, but this is totally different,” he said. “I think the students put a lot of effort into it. We’re not a big group but our boat was decent.”
Students may not remember Michael Wilson specifically, but they may remember his boat: a bat that had flipped over at the beginning of the race. Not to be easily defeated, Wilson carried the boat over his head all the way to the finish line.
This year, teaming up with friends Annie Kromhout and Angela Horstman, they built a Pokémon-themed boat and dressed up as members of Team Rocket. Wilson was James while Kromhout and Horstman were Jessie.
Wilson claimed that boat was sturdier and better than what he had last year. “The prospect of redemption from last year,” he said, laughing. Horstman was looking to double the trouble. “This is my first year and it’s tons of fun,” said Horstman.
“We’ve had more boats than ever,” Dr. DiMonda said. “The weather is great, a bit cold, but it’s been a fun event. I think everybody had a good time.”
“The people go all out with the designs,” said Horstman, a first-time-boat-builder. “They’re probably all going to sink, but they look awesome!”
There were more than just a few Pokémon-themed boats, one of which was intricately designed for the purpose of looking great rather than winning the Regatta. Martina Sukenick and Sally Lau teamed up with a group of several art-based majors, to create their sunglasses-clad Squirtle boat as “something to look pretty.”
“We wanted to make it interesting, to make it memorable,” said Sukenick. Although the team ended up losing in their final heat, it was still a way for them to have one last campus event to bond over.
“It’s our senior year and the last time we’ll be together,” said Lau. “We thought it would be a cool project to do together.”
The 2012 Roth Pond Regatta was a success, thanks to the hard work of former Undergraduate Student Government Vice President of Academic Affairs, Adil Hussain. Stony Brook students had a great day out in the sun, regardless of who came out on top, celebrating the characters of the 90’s and watching their fellow classmates fall out of their boats, and into the green waters of Roth Pond.