Hooray for another great July 4th Regatta in King William!  The Regatta is organized by the near-mythical King William Yacht Club for the happy purpose of enjoying our neighbors and our neighborhood by cruising our portion of the San Antonio River.  The canoe and kayak races kicked off the festivities, but just-for-fun paddlers were the heart of the celebration.  Mike Casey was the only original KW Yacht Club member who participated in the paddling this year.  Mike brought his singular style and grace to the canoe he shared with new neighbor Monica.  

This year’s Regatta participants included young Maddie Toland as Wonder Woman, her mother Dina as golden Queen Hippolyta, and “Uncle Sam” Shawn Bradford paddling a couple of Lady Liberties.  Glittery tutus, stars-and-stripes tiaras and stovepipe hats mixed with aquatic skills in a strange King William amalgam.  Anne Toxey, Patrick McMillan and Sasha Nelipa were accomplished first-time kayakers.  Kayak-race king David Murphy chose not to defend his title so that he and son Grayson could make paddle boarding look easy.  Grayson will have a special “what I did this summer” story when he starts kindergarten in the coming weeks.  

We had an upset in the canoe race (no, not that kind…).  Bradley and Alec Toland, in Jack Kent, Sr.’s classic Grumman aluminum canoe, prevailed in our one semi-serious race, edging out multi-year reigning champion Bryce Milligan and fending off challenger Luke Laborde.  All were gracious in victory and defeat, with promises to try again next year.  Best of all, Patricia Garcia Duarte is our first kayak-race queen, so she will have perpetual regatta bragging rights.  Mercifully, she planned ahead and brought her own tiara.  

We had a high bar for the Style award.  Shimi and Oscar Alvarado bedazzled with patriotic glamor in a glitzy kayak.  Theirs was an action entry with Shimi blowing bubbles and Oscar providing the propulsion.  Somehow their fancy kayak also included martinis.  Face it: everyone was a winner in the Style category.  Shimi and Oscar, however, went home with the style trophy once again.  

The KWA Social following the Regatta was also a big success.  Thanks to Brad Shaw and all of the Price family for the hard work of planning and staging the event in the shade of Upper Mill Park.  Fried chicken and cold beer, plus potluck offerings from neighbors and friends, gave everyone something to celebrate.  Rudi Harst and his group captured the spirit of the event with their charming music and commentary.  

This holiday distills the reasons and opportunity to celebrate our special community.  We created another fabulous 4th of July in King William with lots of paddling, fun, food and music.  Thanks to all for making it happen.  We’ll do it again next year.  Contact the Commodore if you want to get on the notice list for next year’s Regatta.

- Commodore Marita Emmet