The Arts Council and Reg Lenna Civic Center have teamed up to host the first annual Cardboard Boat Regatta.
The event will be held at McCrea Point on Saturday, Aug. 18, with registration at 9:30 a.m. and races starting at noon. It will include music, food and a judge-assessed boat race. The proceeds from the event will benefit the Arts Council and Reg Lenna Civic Center.
Teams will construct a "human-powered" boat made of corrugated cardboard donated by Jamestown Container that must hold at least one crew member and must be "seaworthy" enough to race a short distance. Boats must be constructed in advance of the event, and participants are encouraged to let their imaginations run wild by putting considerable artistic flair into both boats and costumes, according to Arts Council board member Chase Churchill.
Pictured is a corrugated cardboard boat with passengers Frankie and Sy Farrell from Lakewood. The boat was made by Chase Churchill, Arts Council board member, organizer of the Cardboard Boat Regatta scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 18, at McCrea Point in Jamestown.
"People might be familiar with Red Bull's Flugtag event, which is a little more extreme, but I think this will have some good interest and get people excited," said Churchill. "Teams can consist of one to four people, but only one has to paddle. There will be a buoy anchored out in the Chadakoin River, and two teams at a time will go on the mark and be timed."
Teams will be competing for the fastest time, most creative design and most dramatic sinking. Spectators will also be able to participate in the judging process by choosing a crowd favorite. The following age brackets will be used during the competition: adult (18 plus), teen (13 to 17) and youth (8 to 12).
"Since one of the awards is for most dramatic sinking, we're hoping somebody gets out there and puts one together that they know is going to just completely blow apart and be fun to watch," said Churchill. "We encourage people to be creative because another award is for most creative design. We're looking forward to seeing what people come up with because it's not limited to just boats. People can build anything from pirate ships to cartoon animals, houses and cars; as long as it floats, you can consider it a boat. I'd also love to see costumes and other ways of being creative. The more intricate people get the better."
Teams are highly encouraged because it considerably cuts down on the boat-building time and it is a lot of fun for friends, coworkers and families, according to Churchill.
"People should build their boats ahead of time because it does take a little thought, preparation and supplies for decorating," said Churchill. "I put about 10 hours into my boat, and I worked completely alone. If I had a team with me I'd dramatically cut down the time.
"It's a great family event because it will be a lot of fun to watch or participate in," he continued. "We're really encouraging families to get together a team because if you spend an afternoon or evening working on it, you can really come up with a cool boat."
Upon registration, competitors may pick the cardboard up at the Reg Lenna Civic Center. Supplies are limited, and the material will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
"Jamestown Container was very nice in donating cardboard," said Churchill. "On top of what you get donated, keep your eyes out for boxes, cartons, tubes and other things to be creative with. Ask yourself how you can use the items to make a boat."
The event will take place at McCrea Point, 20 Jones and Gifford Ave. in Jamestown. According to Churchill, the location was chosen to keep the event in the Jamestown area.
"Our base is in Jamestown so we wanted to keep it in town," said Churchill. "And, we wanted it to be accessible to everybody so we thought the park would be a fun spot. There isn't much boat traffic there, and we will have life jackets and paddles available for participants."
In addition to the race event, there will also be a boat-building workshop from 6 to 9 p.m. on Monday at the Reg Studio Theatre on Third Street in Jamestown and a boat display from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, under the overhang at the Infinity Performing Arts building.
Registration forms and fees can be dropped off or mailed to the Reg Lenna Civic Center box office at 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown. The entry fee per team is $40. Registration, boat-building guidelines and donation and sponsorship information are available at artscouncil.com. Donations will also be accepted at the event. For more information call 397-1360.