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The return of the annual Cardboard Boat Races!

September 16, 2011
By BOB PETCHER, , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

It's been three years since easily constructed, man-made boats have made waves in Gulf waters around the 1000 Estero Blvd. block on Fort Myers Beach.

--Dude, where's my cardboard boat!--

The resurrected Cardboard Boat Races are back. Both young and old participants are expected to take part in the fun, competitive adventure of racing cardboard boats on a set course in the Gulf off of Beach Access #36 tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 17).

Article Photos

The cardboard boat races have been resurrected! Check out the action this Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Gulf off of Beach Access #36.

The event, sponsored and hosted by Surf Club, will begin at 10 a.m. and is expected to run until 2 p.m. The course route will extend to The Cottage and back.

All one needs to prepare for the buoyant trip is reinforced cardboard, glue, polyurethane, duct tape, paint and an inventive mind to create his or her contending vessel.

Event coordinator James Byrne said members of Boy Scout Troop 999 will be around to help out in facilitating the event. Proceeds will jump back to the Beach kids with a monetary split between the Beach boy scouts and Beach Elementary School.

"This is a community event and open to the public," said Byrne. "It is for kids and adults. You can row, paddle or sail your boat."

Byrne can be reached for questions and entry information by calling 410-7367. Fees are $10 for the two youngest divisions; $15 for the age 16 and older bracket; and $25 for business/organizations to compete.

Competition will be in four different classes. There will be three age categories (age 11 and under; ages 12-15; and age 16 and older) as well as an industry class for business/organizations.

First, second and third places will be awarded for the overall divisions, while further awards will be handed out to overall best looking, ugliest, titanic (first to sink) and last to float. An extra award will be linked with a "free for all" where participants can try to sink each other once the race is completed.

This is truly a spectator sport from the beachfront that needs to be watched if you are not signed up to compete!

While the use of cardboard, tape, glue and polyurethane is encouraged, there are boat regulations that restrict two-part epoxies and fiberglass resins.

Many Beach businesses have come to bat for the resurrected event. It's for the kids, after all.

"I would like to thank all of the businesses and organizations that donated to this event," said Byrne.

So, if you haven't already built your dreamboat for this popular occasion, get moving. You'll need some time to create, form, make altercations and allow the glue, polyurethane and paint to dry.

Anchors away!!



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