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‘I don’t want to like splat on the window’

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A Lake Geneva tradition is back for the summer — wipeouts and all. The Walworth was back out on Lake Geneva Wednesday morning for the 105th annual mailboat delivery tryouts. The coveted positions require teens to jump off a moving boat, deliver mail and then jump right back on. Adding to the challenge: Each pier is different.”The mailbox, it’s like 30 feet away from the boat, and then the mailbox is facing toward shore, so it’s really hard to do that exchange and make sure you get back on the boat, so you really have got to be going fast,” said returning mailboat jumper, Sid Pearl.Marissa Torres-Raby was trying out for the first time.”I’m probably most nervous about jumping back onto the boat because I don’t want to like splat on the window like a bug,” she said.But with her lifejacket on, her first jump was smooth sailing.”I’m OK, hopefully I’ll do good,” Torres-Raby said.The boat never stops. It goes about 5 mph, which doesn’t give the jumper much room for error.Some stop at the edge of the pier while others go for it and land right in the lake. But after a year of COVID-19 restrictions and operating at half capacity, no one seems to mind the extra splash this year.”We will be back, theoretically at full capacity,” mailboat Capt. Ray Ames said. “We’ll see if the people come. I think they will. I think we’ll be busy again.””I’m hoping more with the full boats now, we’ll get to see more people,” Pearl said. “It’s just more interactions and everything. It makes the experience just so much better.”The five teens selected will also be the guides during boat tours on the Walworth this summer.

A Lake Geneva tradition is back for the summer — wipeouts and all.

The Walworth was back out on Lake Geneva Wednesday morning for the 105th annual mailboat delivery tryouts.

The coveted positions require teens to jump off a moving boat, deliver mail and then jump right back on.

Adding to the challenge: Each pier is different.

“The mailbox, it’s like 30 feet away from the boat, and then the mailbox is facing toward shore, so it’s really hard to do that exchange and make sure you get back on the boat, so you really have got to be going fast,” said returning mailboat jumper, Sid Pearl.

Marissa Torres-Raby was trying out for the first time.

“I’m probably most nervous about jumping back onto the boat because I don’t want to like splat on the window like a bug,” she said.

But with her lifejacket on, her first jump was smooth sailing.

“I’m OK, hopefully I’ll do good,” Torres-Raby said.

The boat never stops.

It goes about 5 mph, which doesn’t give the jumper much room for error.

Some stop at the edge of the pier while others go for it and land right in the lake.

But after a year of COVID-19 restrictions and operating at half capacity, no one seems to mind the extra splash this year.

“We will be back, theoretically at full capacity,” mailboat Capt. Ray Ames said. “We’ll see if the people come. I think they will. I think we’ll be busy again.”

“I’m hoping more with the full boats now, we’ll get to see more people,” Pearl said. “It’s just more interactions and everything. It makes the experience just so much better.”

The five teens selected will also be the guides during boat tours on the Walworth this summer.



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