By: Katie Writer
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The fourth Annual Northern Susitna Institute Cardboard Boat Regatta attracted a big crowd, many of whom observed the family fun event from the middle of the lake. This year’s various boat and paddle board designs decorated the beach at Christiansen Lake for judges to inspect for the “right stuff.” This means that cardboard is the main ingredient with water soluble paint and duck tape at the seams only. There were some impressive designs mixed in with considerable color, creative themes, and basic crafts meant to withstand a few minutes in the chilly water. Some were greater works of art than function and those captaining such rigs had to work extra hard, including Cayman Kingery’s ‘Ice Cube’ and Shelby Whitecar’s ‘Lily.’ The cheering crowd added fuel to their pursuit to round all four marks and paddle into the finish area. This year’s Commodore, Chris Mannix, kept the action flowing with several heats of 3 boats racing at a time.
With 11 boats in the Kid’s Division, it took 4 rounds and some carnage of sinking boats included to pick the top 3 for the finals. There was a lot of splashing at the start of final race where Maya Mossanen led the 15 and under division in her sleek craft called ‘SS Hippie Mobile’. Though several years younger, 5 year old racer, Jasper Marder of ‘Blue Canal’ paddled not too far off her lead. Obvious theatrical backgrounds and ‘bath tubish’ design earned the ‘Four Musketeers’ the Titanic/Most Dramatic Sinking Award.
Of the 3 boats entered in the Family Division, the Bet-Sea Ross carried the most passengers first thru the finish line, though not without considerable effort. Some obvious experienced paddlers on board with fancy strokes managed to make moving this giant along look easy. There were plenty of boats on patrol to pick up the debris from rigs that fell apart in the lake.
The Adult Division’s Lambeau Field earned the Commodore’s Award of the Day. Driver, design, and will power were the elements that made for top finishers this year while the comical paddlers and simple regatta fun made this a fun day for all.