By Joe Page, photos by Jeff Robinson
There was serious competition for the “Most Dramatic Sinking” award Saturday afternoon at Christiansen Lake during NSI’s 1st Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta. Nova and Tevi, in their noble pink vessel The Croc , became serious contenders during the “Kids” race when their floating cardboard shoe “buckled” as they rounded the second buoy. However, two other vessels soon entered the fray during the “Adult” class race. In their seemingly well-engineered Level-Headed Folly pontoon vessel, Hannah and Steven quickly discovered several design flaws, but thoroughly impressed the judges with their ability to cling to and recover so much soggy cardboard. In the same race, This Side Up was sailing merrily and swiftly along and Joe was well on his way around the circuit, seemingly in record time, when he happened to notice a large pool of water seeping, then flooding into the aft chamber of his dinghy. He soon found himself sinking through the sodden cellulose into Christiansen Lake muck, muttering something about striking an ice-cube.
The “Family” class proved much more successful at navigation, with three award-winning vessels sailing proudly around the course. Powered by the father/son team of Howard and Theo, the S.S. Stickleback streaked around the course, not only winning the family race, but also taking first in the finale, to capture the “Fastest Boat” reality award. The Generic, based on a Polynesian voyage canoe, paddled by Christie, Toby, and Mike was seriously hampered by the shortness of the course and never had time to “get up to speed”. Fortunately, the judges acknowledged this shortcoming and awarded them the “ Fastest Boat” theoretical award.
Perhaps the most impressive vessel on the water was powered by Maya, who the night before the regatta was inspired to build a boat. Her colorfully painted cardboard kayak, “Copper”, streaked to victory in the “Kids” class and was only seconds behind the S.S. Stickleback in the finale. Though arriving too late at the starting line to win their heat, the crowd cheered the arrival of the Wet Dream, paddled by Brandon and Andy who made the longest open water passage of the day.
Despite several discreet bribes slipped to Commodore Smith, the coveted Commodore’s Cup went to The Fang , a vessel ably and powered twice around the course despite a serious rudder malfunction. After squaring the cube root of the volume and multiplying the velocity divided by the number of paddlers, it was clear that the Moran family would be the proud caretakers of the commodore’s brass pot until next year’s regatta.
Fastest Boat Overall (reality)– S.S. Stickleback Theo and Howard Carbone
Fastest Boat (theoretical)– The Generic Toby, Christie Seay, Mike Figley
Most Creative– The Croc Tevi Loeb and Nova Popasodora
Titanic Award– The Level Headed Folly Hannah Hamler and Stephen Graves
Commodore’s Pride– Hyper Viper Indigo, London, Poppy, and Mark Moran