Cardboard boats attempt to stay afloat; Regatta bring out masses to see who is best
By MCKENZIE CASSIDY, “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com
After 15 years, local boaters still take their paddles and boats made of stiffened card board to local waterways for the annual Cardboard Boat Regatta. And this year was no different.
On Saturday at Seahawk Park in northwest Cape Coral, dozens of locals, teams and boating clubs tried to paddle their way through the water and stay afloat in boats made completely out of cardboard.
In fact, the process of making the boats is quite simple, explained Kathy Woodlock, a member of the Cast-aweighs team.
“It’s held together with liquid nails and a lot of latex paint,” said Woodlock.
In preparing the boats the competitors slacker on coat after coat of the latex paint, until the cardboard is stiff and able to be taken over water. Then this weekend they paddled their boats across Argosy Lake, watchful of leaks or holes in the vessel.
The Cast-aweighs team have been continual participants in the regatta, team members said, and could be identified by their red T-shirts displaying Chinese symbols and the traditional conical hats made of straw. Their boat was a long, black vessel with “Fortune Cookie” written across the side.
“We just came up with this Chinese boat and designed the decorations,” said Woodlock.
During one of the team’s races on the water, team member Bob Turner, who has been racing for more than five years, beat out Cheryl Leftwich on another team called “Fishing for a Cure,” organized to raise money for breast cancer.
Another team, the Merry Mariners Boat Club, had designed a cardboard helicopter to follow its M.A.S.H. theme. The helicopter even had working propellers that turned with the help of handheld screwdrivers.
“It’s a military assistance helicopter from the Vietnam War,” said Rich Mahoney.
The Merry Mariners change its theme each year, explained Mahoney. The year before they followed an Indiana Jones theme, using the pontoon sea plane from the “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” although this year they decided on a M.A.S.H. theme.
“We had a vote and because of our age we were all from that time,” said Mahoney.
The team, who wore green T-shirts, camouflage and dog tags, said they have been coming out to the races for the last seven years.
Also, during the races there were food vendors, live music, a rock wall and bounce houses for younger children.
Other participating teams included the All Aboard Preschool, the Ida S. Baker Interact Club, the Punta Gorda Boat Club, the Rotary Club of Cape Coral, the Caloosa Dive Club and many more.