A piece of Fort Wayne history returned to the city as dozens of homemade rafts took to the St. Marys River Saturday afternoon for the Fort Wayne Newspapers Three Rivers Festival Raft Race.
More than 60 rafts participated in the comeback of the TRF favorite. High insurance costs, image concerns and declining participation sunk the race, which stopped after the 1997 fest.
The competition returned this year with some changes, namely tighter safety standards, a new course on the St. Marys River and $14,000 in prize money.
The official top finishers in each category are listed below, as reported on TRF's Facebook page.
Best non-commercial creative
1. Baumgartner (WWF wrestling ring raft)
2. Ought 5'rs
3. A Billies (raft that looked like the Mystery Machine of “Scooby-Doo” fame)
Best commercial creative
1. Coplen's Coleman Camper (fire breathing dragon Viking ship)
2. Voderman Volkswagen
3. Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation paddlers
Best non-commercial speed
1. Concordia / Turnstone (Wells Street Bridge raft)
2. 50 Bucks and a Weekend
3. Team Awesome
Best commercial speed
1. Angry Chelsey's (Viking canoe)
2. Solid Design
3. LA Electric