Sink, Swim or Sail to Victory at Cardboard Boat Races
Hold off on taking your cardboard to the recycling center. Your kids will need all the cardboard they can hoard if they want to compete in the Cardboard Boat Races at the Hannibal Aquatic Center in late June.
Like so many other events, the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department had to cancel the annual Cardboard Boat Races because of COVID. In fact, the entire Aquatic Center was closed all last summer. Thankfully, the pool will reopen in time for Memorial Day weekend.
The fifth Cardboard Boat Race is set for June 26. You’ll need to have your team registered by June 18.
Every year, youngsters team up to build their best cardboard boat and attempt to ride in their boats for as long as possible before the boat sinks. Boaters are tasked with building a functional craft with only cardboard and duct tape. Each boat must have two passengers, ages 6-16 and the entire boat and oars must be made of cardboard.
Trophies will be awarded to winners in the following categories:
- Fastest Boat
- Titanic Award
- Best Decorated
- Can’t Believe It’s Cardboard
My daughter and her BFF have sailed in the Cardboard Boat Races a couple times. You see their picture at the top of this story. That photo was snapped in the first heat, when the girls wiped out the competition. I even saw a parent place a bet that they’d take the championship in the second heat. That dad lost his bet. Their ship sank in a spectacular fashion, but it did earn them the Titanic Award.
Just as fun as the actual races is the experience of building a seaworthy vessel. It takes creativity, problem solving, and teamwork. It’s a great way to spend some summer hours with a friend.
Aquatics Director Jenna McDonald said the event is always greatly anticipated. “Our lifeguards really enjoy seeing the creativity and taking part in the contest,” she said. The lifeguards help participants get into the boats and make sure they make it safely to the other side, while also serving as judges for the contests.
Rules are on the Hannibal Parks website and available at the HPR office, 320 Broadway.