Monday, September 8, 2008

Get Ready For The Regatta: Build Your Own Cardboard Boat

Chestertown, MD — Organizers for the Cardboard Boat Regatta are taking entries for this year's event to be held along the Chester River at Wilmer Park on September 27, 2008 at 4:00 PM. Entries are limited to the first 30 boats registered.

A cardboard boat regatta challenges participants to build a human-powered boat made of corrugated cardboard (and a few other approved materials) that is capable of navigating a 300-meter course. The goal is to be creative in designing, building and decorating the rafts—and to have fun on the river. Points are garnered by wearing costumes appropriate for the theme of the vessel. Every boat must have a captain, and there can be up to six people on a team.

John Seidel, Director of the Center for Environment & Society says, "We're expecting a great turnout for this year's regatta." Last year the competition was open only to Washington College students, faculty, staff and alumni. This year's regatta includes the greater Chestertown community (residents must be at least 12 years old). “We hope to have a good mix of competitors from local schools, civic organizations, downtown businesses—you name it,” says Seidel.

Every boat will be an original work of art. Awards recognize creative use of cardboard and brave mariners will be competing for $1,125 worth of prizes in the following categories:

  • Cape Horn Award — 1st around the course — $300
  • Captain Cook Award — 2nd best circumnavigator — $150
  • Robert Peary Award — 3rd across the finish line — $75
  • Horatio Nelson Award — best overall design, name, costumes — $300
  • Cutty Sark Award — best design & construction — $100 gift card to Imperial Hotel
  • Kon-Tiki Award — best theme & costumes — $100 gift card to Fish Whistle
  • Linda Greenlaw Award — most team spirit — $50 gift card to Feast of Reason
  • Titanic Award — spectacular sinking — $50 gift card to Play It Again Sam

According to John Wagner, Director of Waterfront Programs at Washington College, "It's always a surprise to see what people come up with, and even more fun to see which boats stay afloat out on the river." Wagner suggests checking out boatbuilding tips on the college's website or Google "cardboard boat" if your team is looking for design ideas. Hopefully people will find something that stirs their imaginations.

The Center for Environment & Society is offering a free Cardboard Boat Building Workshop on September 20 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on the Custom House lawn. Construction materials will be provided.

On September 27, 2008 - the day of the Cardboard Boat Regatta - spectators are welcome to enjoy the bluegrass music of Chester River Runoff and engage in Waterfront Festival activities in Wilmer Park from 12:00-5:00 PM. In case of foul weather, water-based activities will be cancelled but Chester River Runoff will perform under Lelia Hynson Pavilion from 1:00-4:00 PM.

Register for the Cardboard Boat Regatta at "oar" or 410-778-7295 for more information.

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