Cardboard boat regatta starts at noon tomorrow Lake Kittamaqundi is site of race COLUMBIA

June 11, 1993

Physics students from Hammond High School have rowed and pedaled a paddle wheel in the past. Tomorrow students will try a new wrinkle, powering their cardboard boat with the use of overhead propellers.

The Great Cardboard Boat Regatta will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on Lake Kittamaqundi in downtown Columbia.

Registration will begin at 10 a.m. for the third annual event, which has drawn between 40 and 50 boats in each of the first two years, said Bob Minehart, race coordinator. The Columbia Forum, an advocacy group that studies issues concerning the future of Columbia, sponsors the regatta.

Many businesses, community groups and schools participate. The regatta is open to all ages.

"It's a community event. It's a lot of fun," Mr. Minehart said.

The Hammond High classes have worked on creating a better model each year, with an emphasis on engineering rather than appearance, teacher Jay Fogleman said. The project is part of the physics curriculum.

The classes are divided into teams to build the hull and the propeller and pedaling system. The students tested one-inch scale models of hulls in a tank, and put the full-sized finished product on a skateboard to test the propulsion system in the school hall, Mr. Fogleman said.

"We know it inches forward in the hall," he said. "We can't get too caught up in winning the regatta. It's more about going out and having a good time. As long as it goes forward and stays afloat, there's something to be happy about."

Three classes of boats will race: canoe or kayak paddle-powered; paddle wheels, propeller-powered, or sails; and "instant boats" constructed the day of the race. A maximum of 10 people are allowed on each boat.

Kits including cardboard, duct tape, a sheet of plastic and a razor knife will be available at the event for those who want to build a boat at the lake.

The entry fee is $25. The event is a fund-raiser for the Columbia Forum, but Mr. Minehart said the organization generally breaks even.

Awards will be presented for the top three finishers in each class. Other awards to be presented include Pride of the Regatta, for the best use of cardboard; the Vogue Award, for the most attractive boat; the Team Spirit Award; the Best Dressed Team Award; the Titanic Award; and the People's Choice Award.

A water safety team, including lifeguards, will monitor the race.

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