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3-D Printed Cargo Boats to Race in First Annual Red Hook Regatta

 Laurenzo Reed and Jesus Benitez, both 23, are the two Digital Stewards organizing the first ever Red Hook Regatta.
Laurenzo Reed and Jesus Benitez, both 23, are the two Digital Stewards organizing the first ever Red Hook Regatta.
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Red Hook Regatta

RED HOOK — A tech-driven race against time aims to take a waterfront neighborhood back in time.

Co-sponsored by Microsoft, the Sept. 20 Red Hook Regatta 3-D printed motorized boat race will challenge teams to transport cargo from the beach at the Louis Valentino Jr. Park to three points along the pier.

Each boat must have enough space to carry cargo the size of a 2-foot cube.

While one member of the team steers the boat, the other must act as the stevedore, picking up and dropping off cargo. Higher points will be awarded to teams that reach the furthest point along the pier.

“The background of the race is to display the history of Red Hook,” said Laurenzo Reed, one of the local Digital Stewards working on the project.

The regatta is the first project through a civic journalism initiative between Pioneer Works artist enclave and the Red Hook Initiative’s Digital Stewards, a program for tech-savvy young adults.

Through the collaboration, the Stewards must help organize an event and find a way to document it. That includes creating a website and writing blog posts, said David Sheinkopf, an educational director at the art center and race coordinator.

Reed and Jesus Benitez, both 23-year-old Red Hook locals and Digital Stewards, have spent time with Sheinkopf and Pioneer Works’ Cassie Wagler to learn about everything from 3-D printing and radio-controlled boats to the development of Red Hook as a maritime hub.

Both Benitez and Reed plan to pursue careers in the tech industry and have been able to use their talents documenting the race preparations. Benitez, an aspiring game designer, created an online version of the race for the website and Reed has used his skills as a graphic designer for the project as well.

Through the regatta, the team hopes to “make a tech event that wasn’t just about tech,” Sheinkopf said.

The 4 p.m. race will feature four or five teams made up of Digital Stewards. The regatta is also open to people who can build their own 3-D printed motorized boats and those who wish to mentor the teams of young adults.

For more details, email redhookregatta@gmail.com.