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19th annual Cardboard Boat Regatta set for Four Freedoms

By Staff | Apr 14, 2012

The 19th annual Cardboard Boat Regatta brings thousands out to watch the fun each year, with teams from two to nearly 20 paddling their cardboard creations.

“The most fun is watching the boats sink,” said local Rotarian and Event Chairman Jim Perry.

The event is presented by the Downtown Cape Coral Rotary Club and it’s a big fund raiser for the organization.

“The funds we raise with events go to the youth,” said Perry. “We give dictionaries to every third grader in Cape Coral schools, and also give scholarships to FGCU and Edison State College.”

The boats will come in many different designs and sizes, he said.

“I think the biggest boat we’ll have this year is 22 feet.”

On design, he said, “Last year we had the Merry Mariners build a replica of the African Queen and students of the engineering department of FGCU built a Viking ship.”

The event is open to participation from businesses, schools, youth groups, groups of friends and non-profit organizations. Officials said that it is a great team-building experience, giving participants the chance to work together toward a common goal.

The event will kick off Friday, April 20, at 5 p.m. with a “Meet the Boat Builder” kick-off party, with the actual regatta setting sail on Saturday, April 21, starting at 9 a.m.

“There is also a VIP dinner Friday open to the public, with Chicken Marsala and Shrimp Scampi for $15. We’re also having a three piece band, the Bob Inkenbrandt Trio.” You can buy tickets at the park for the dinner.

If you are concerned about parking, Perry said there will be plenty of parking on Cape Coral Parkway next to the Sunset Towers, just west of the park.

There’s still time to register a boat.

“Teams can be from one person to as many as you want.”

The rules are that the boat must be cardboard, glue and paint, and have no screws. For more details, view the event website.

It costs $30 to register a boat.

“We’ll take registrations up to the event,” he said.

For information on the event and registration, go to capecoralregatta.com