Cardboard Boat Regatta a hit with the crowds in New Richmond

August 26th, 2010    Author: Brett A. Roller    Filed Under: News

Using a little cardboard and duct tape and a lot of paint, participants in the 18th International Cardboard Boat Regatta had relatively smooth sailing Saturday.

The annual event drew a crowd of around 5,000 to New Richmond as they lined Front Street and meandered through the River Days Festival.

A total of 50 entries entered the water to compete, tying last year’s record. The race maintained its international status with “Rooty Tooty Aim and Shooty” captain Ian Lehn piloting his father Rick Lehn’s Lehn Painting boat.

The Ohio River was a little crowded for the Cardboard Cup race, the final event for the 18th International Cardboard Boat Regatta. Local favorite Sam Richmond took first place with a time of 1:08 in his boat the
Ian Lehn was visiting from Panama City, Panama. There were many unique entries this year including "Double D," a boat in support of breast cancer awareness, and "Miracle on the Ohio," a boat shaped like the Airbus 320 that had an emergency landing in the Hudson River in January of 2009. Even a couple of politicians took to the muddy Ohio in the "Twisted Lemon," the same boat that made it all the way from Cincinnati to New Richmond. County Commissioner Bob Proud and state Representative Joe Uecker took the boat down the quarter-mile track with the help of Travis Lemon and Uekcer's son-in-law Kevin Meek. The choices for the Titanic Award for most dramatic sinking were limited this year as nearly all boats successfully crossed the finish line. Don Longhauser won the award with his unnamed speedboat design.

"The types of boats and quality is improving every year," "Cardboard" Ray Perszyk said. "We had several boats that were being entered for the third year. They were solid and sealed up well so once they dry out they last."

Perszyk said he's already making plans for the 19th race next year. He said expanding the number of local politicians participating would be entertaining. He said he is also working with a local Boy Scout troop leader to try to get several scouts to compete next year.

"It would be another great way to get the kids involved," Perszyk said.

He said he is also toying with the idea of a Golden Buckeye category for the 60 and over crowd.
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