Sabotage Sinks Popular Clam Scouts Pinewood Regatta

Little toy sailboat on sandy beach
One of the few untouched Pinewood Regatta boats, Photo: Mikalai Bachkou/123RF

Scout leaders at East Hampton’s Clam Scouts Den 333 called police on Saturday to report that multiple miniature handmade sailboats had been sabotaged the night before the Den’s popular Pinewood Regatta. Hamptons Police Department detectives and, later, East End Internal Affairs Bureau (EEIAB) agents were called to investigate.

According to Clam Scouts rules, all pinewood sailboats are subjected to rigorous evaluation to ensure they are race-legal. The boats are then checked in with Den leadership so no changes can be made before Saturday’s launch. Unfortunately, it seems one or more devious parents and/or their children broke into Den 333 late Friday night and made small adjustments to numerous boats in order to disqualify them from Saturday’s regatta.

“I spent a lot of time perfecting that boat, I mean my son spent a lot of time, so it’s really frustrating to discover the keel had somehow ended up 1 ounce heavier than the regulation 3 ounces that I—rather my son—installed,” one irate father explained. Other father-son duos found their sails were no longer made from the required 100-120 grams-per-square-meter paper (GSM), and had been replaced with 80 GSM copier paper, making them illegal to race.

“In the end, only three boats remained competition-legal,” HPD spokesman Rex Gallant said. “We’re looking at those kids and their dads as our prime suspects, though we’ll need hard evidence to prove their boats weren’t simply overlooked by last night’s saboteur,” he continued. “And, we’re sad to say, one of those dads is a decorated Hamptons Police Department officer, so we’ve been forced to bring the East End Internal Affairs Bureau to oversee our handling of the case.”

Clam Scouts Grand Quahog Louis Randone flew out from his organization’s headquarters in Tipp City, Ohio on Sunday to assess the situation. “I’ll freely admit that our regulations have become rather stringent in recent years, but this weekend’s sabotage demonstrates that cheating is a real problem. The unscrupulous parents who did this—because I highly doubt it was one of our young scouts—make clear the reasons why we can no longer take them at their word and follow the honor system,” Randone said. “Today, the Pinewood Regatta is serious business, and we’ll respond with serious justice.”

Read more tales from the Hamptons Police Blotter

More from Our Sister Sites