ROCKVILLE -- The post driver is an old pecan log with a stout steel pole for a handle. A single, soft thump tells all you need to know about how this staid boating community handles the annual party-til-you-drop invasion of its regatta Saturday.

Michael Sosnowski's grandfather made the mallet; it's a piece of family history. Today, Sosnowski and friend Patrick Thompson were out in the yard along the Bohicket Creek, pounding home posts in the quiet live oak shade. They'll run police tape down the dirt drive the length of the yard, to keep an expected swarm of friends' cars from pulling too far onto the grass and running over the family well pump.

"They do it every year. We try as hard we can to make sure we have water for the weekend," Sosnowki said. They used to run fencing, but gave it up. "They break down whatever we put up anyway."

The Rockville Regatta is 120-year-old Wadmalaw Island family tradition. It's become an icon, the final race of a party hearty Lowcountry regatta season, the home waters of the one-of-kind Sea Island One design boats that will take part.

Its reputation has all but overwhelmed it. Spectator boats will be tied together or jostling ontop of each other, sometimes four and five deep, herded by wildlife officers and Charleston Sheriff's deputies in patrol boats. The boaters will be drinking, a lot. In 2008 one spectator died from alcohol poisoning, Carter said. They'll be leaping into the water from boat to boat. There will be loud music.

While boaters swelter and scream in the buoyed-off no man's water along the regatta, families in the community will be strolling patio to patio, and partying in the shade.

Read more in tomorrow's The Post and Courier.