This All About, Anyway?
a year local and national attention is focused on the Annapolis
Harbor for a strange but compelling competition, the Slaughter Across
the Water "International" Tug of War staged by the Maritime Republic
of Eastport. Drawing on the rivalry between Eastport, the neighborhood
across Spa Creek from downtown Annapolis, and the city itself, civic
pride on both sides has allowed this zany event to improve more
than community morale.
With A Purpose
the past four years, the hilarious fun of the Slaughter Across the
Water raised $62,387 for charities, drawing such
a crowd that it has been featured on CNN, Fox, Channel 13, and other
media outlets, including the Washington Post, the Baltimore
Sun, and the Annapolis Capital.
is a family and community event of such considerable scale that
it literally can't be missed! The Coast Guard allows us to close
the Annapolis Harbor for two hours while the teams on either side
of the water tug away during the scheduled "heats."
rope is extended literally across the harbor
from Second Street in Eastport to Susan C. Campbell Park at City
Dock in Annapolis. The tuggers are not pulled into the water. Instead,
the center of the rope is marked with a float and a small helium-filled
blimp. Two equidistant points in the water are then marked with
floats. The winning side is determined when the center of the rope
crosses one of the floats. There will be nine tug "heats."
Judges will be aboard a boat close to the rope, closely monitoring
the events as radio personalities broadcast live to the world! Close
radio contact between Tug officials on both sides of the harbor
ensure that tugging starts at the same time and that the teams
observe the rules.
insurance regulations and common sense prevent anyone from being
dragged into the water during a tug, there is nothing preventing
"volunteers" from the losing side of each heat to "volunteer"
to jump into the water as atonement for having lost--in fact, it's
required. These people are called Designated Dunkees and
every team must have one. Contestants are given points for style
and technique in the water entry process.
Tug transforms Downtown Annapolis and Eastport, with a festival-like
atmosphere that includes food vendors, face-painting, clowns, cheering
crowds, and all sorts of local color.
consisting of all men, all women, and coed have traditionally been
the anchor teams for the tugs, earning the Maritime Republic of
Eastport bragging rights for the past four years over its cousins
across the Spa Creek, renamed The Gulf of Eastport
for the occasion.
also sponsor teams and get prime recognition from the crowds that
gather and the media attention, while local charities benefit from
the money raised.
Maritime Republic of Eastport sponsors theevent as part of its commitment
to make our entire community a better place to live; a commitment
from private groups that is an outstanding example of how to supplement
local, state and federal government activities.
Challenge | Brief History of MRE