Previously, I have written blog stories about wacky events in Southwest Florida such as the Mermaid Parade and the Turtle Races. But on a wacky scale for local events, the races at the Cape Coral Cardboard Boat Regatta vie for first place.
After a two-year delay due to Covid, approximately 1000 people and fourteen teams from across the area descended on Cape Coral’s Seahawk Park this past weekend. The temperature was in the low 90’s (32°C) with plenty of humidity making it feel a lot warmer.
With live music playing in the background, the teams displayed their nautical creations and competed in racing and other events such as best decorated, team effort, etc…
The pictured “New Resident Club”(NRC) “Queen of the Gulf” entry was one of the more elaborately decorated boats. The “Queen” won the first place “People’s Choice Trophy” and was recognized with first place for Best Design.
Prior to going into the water “decorations” are removed so that only the cardboard hull is used in the racing competition. Yes, the bottom is engineered from cardboard and yes, the boats amazingly float as the competitors race a previously marked course in heats.
The Regatta traces its roots to 1994. Their website states, “The Cardboard Boat Regatta is open to participation from businesses, schools, youth groups, groups of friends, and non-profit organizations desiring to build a boat and participate. This is a wonderful team-building experience; giving [teams] an opportunity to work together toward a common goal and have fun doing it.”
Below are some photos of some entrants from previous years. The photos are courtesy of the Rotary Club of Cape Coral which now is the sponsor of the event.
The final “race” of the day was a “free for all” when teams tried to sink each other. The “Queen of the Gulf” prevailed in this crazy event too.
Just like the Tournament of Roses float entrants, Regatta teams are known for beginning their plans for next year’s races immediately following the conclusion of the races just held.