Cardboard boat boat racing made its debut at McCrea Point in Jamestown on August 18. 11 boats were created and raced with adult and child crews before a crowd of over 150 people.
The 1st Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta was hosted by the Reg Lenna Civic Center and Arts Council For Chautauqua County and raised money for each non-profit organization.
Crowds began to gather at 10:00 in the morning as boats were delivered and registered. By noon, a large group of spectators spread out along the dock and shoreline, eager for the racing to begin. All boats raced over several heats, vying for fastest time. In each heat, one of the entries barely made it out of the landing area, which was all part of the fun.
“While achieving a fast time was desired, all of the participants knew that sinking was a possible outcome. We had some spectacular sinks!”, said Chase Churchill, an Arts Council board member and the creator of the event.
Boat designs included a motorboat, kayak, submarine, canoe, a surfboard and a pirate ship. One of the entrants featured a plastic lawn chair affixed to two pontoons. Local theater actor and improvisational comedian, Tim Smeal, emceed. The Cardboard Boat Regatta is planned to be an annual event.
Among the prize-winners were:
Shults Auto Group Fastest Youth Captained Boat – What’s Up Dude
Shults Auto Group Fastest Adult Captained Boat – Yellow Submarine
Most Creative Design – Pirate Ship
Most Dramatic Sink – Cast Away
Crowd Favorite – Paper Doll
Also competing were the U.S.S. Monitor, The Paper Thin, Chillaxin’, Sheriff’s Boat, SOS and The Agreeable
Business sponsors included Shults Auto Group, Century 21- Turner Brokers, Holiday Harbor, IATSE Local 266, Jamestown Auto Center, Jamestown Electro Plating, Mirage Salon, Southern Tier Financial, Stanton’s Garage and Sandberg Kessler. Also sponsoring the event were Aaron Olson, Chase Churchill and David Griffin. Cardboard material was donated by Jamestown Container, Piazza Carpet and Stone Mountain Carpet.
Several individuals and businesses also volunteered services during the event, including John Fuchs, Lane Tomassini, Arthur R. Gren Company, Southern Tier Brewing, Chautauqua Lake Rowing Association and Advanced Production Group.
Special thanks to John Fuchs who shot and edited the video below, in addition to providing the event’s safety boat.