By LOIS CLERMONT, Editor
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Matt Doyle and Ashley Cousens were the grand-prize winners for the 2013 Mayor’s Cup Parade of Lights.
Their boat, Nomad, scored highest in the annual competition, held Thursday night.
The City of Plattsburgh shoreline from Wilcox Dock to Plattsburgh Boat Basin was packed with spectators eager to see the decorated boats and energetic crews.
The Nomad crew wowed the crowd as well as the judges, with a boat decorated as the USS Minnow, with its crew dressed as the characters from the TV show “Gilligan’s Island.”
They maneuvered the boat close to shore, so spectators could get a good view, drawing cheers. Then, as they passed by the judges, the crew performed a skit, of sorts, with the Gilligan character falling off the boat into the water, to a chorus of “Oh, Gilligan!” from the others.
The crowd also offered big cheers for a number of other entries, including “Champy’s Back” — four kayaks tied together, each carrying a section of the spine — and “The Redneck Yot Club,” which featured country music and a deer’s head on a board.
This year’s competition drew about 24 boats, around a dozen kayaks, three canoes and a handful of paddleboards. The Boat Parade is a traditional kickoff to the Mayor’s Cup Festival and Regatta, which is expected to draw even bigger crowds this year because it is being held in conjunction with SUNY Plattsburgh’s reunion.
Here are the winners in each division:
Paddle Power: First place, Champy’s Back, Tom Metz; second, Kayak Shack, Patty and Dave Husband; and third place, Premier Paddleboards, Deena McCullough and Sally Meisenheimer.
Under 23 feet: First place, Nomad, Matt Doyle and Ashley Cousens; second place, Carp-a-Diem, Rich Finley and Joe Kourofsky; and third place, Craig-Cat, Gordon Whigham.
24 to 30 feet: First place, Sweet Escape, Jim Waldron; and second, Polyester Pontoon Party, Rich Esposito.
More than 31 feet: First place, Souvenir, Craig Meyerson; second place, Champlain Boatworks, John Summers; and third place, Grand Illusion, Beth White and J.P. Turgeon, Nav-Tours.
Bob Pooler from WIRY Hometown Radio announced the entries as they passed the judges: Mayor Donald Kasprzak, Bob Grady and Paul Raino.
Trophies will be awarded at the Mayor’s Cup Barbecue Awards Ceremony, which takes place 4 to 7 p.m. today at the Naked Turtle.
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