PELL CITY -- The 2017 Cardboard Boat Regatta drew an enthusiastic crowd but only three boats to Lakeside Park on Saturday.
However, any concerns the low boat turnout might sink the event’s future were dispelled by the president of the organization that sponsored it.
Top honors among the trio of boats that participated Saturday went to Nick Kin of Jeff State Community College and Jeff Thompson with the Center for Education and Performing Arts.
Kin and Thompson admitted to having no specific strategy or design for their first-place boat, which was named “New boat, who dis?”
“This is our first year to participate,” Thompson said. “We saw an ad for the event and thought it would be really fun.”
Said Kin, “We used about seven rolls of duct tape and worked on it the night before.”
Both Thompson and Kin said they would be back to defend their title next year.
Joe White and his grandkids finished second with their boat “The Joker.”
“It started out as a Batman boat for the grandkids,” White said. “My brother said that it would be just jokers that were driving it, so we decided decorate it like the Joker. The grandkids would rather see him sink than Batman anyway.”
White added that his creation took about 30 hours to make.
“We won the last cardboard regatta race,” he said. “The family really enjoys it.”
The “Lucky New Boat,” operated by of Aaron and Wyatt Roberts of Lucky’s Bait and Tackle, received the “Titanic” award for the most dramatic sinking and finished third.
“This was our first year to participate,” Roberts said.
The race was sponsored by the Logan Martin Lake Protection Association (LMLPA).
“It is a fun event for the entire family,” LMLPA President Linda Ruethemann said.
By rule, construction materials for Saturday’s boats were limited to corrugated cardboard, duct tape and paint.
Although Ruethemann and other organizers hoped for a larger turnout, the LMLPA president said the regatta will continue.
“We hope to get the word out sooner and advertise better for next year,” she said.
The regatta began in 2005, when the Pell City Parks and Recreation Department held the inaugural event.
Year after year, the event gained popularity and was later taken over by a local service organization. The regatta eventually disappeared from the waters of the lake, but it has re-emerged with LMLPA at the helm.
“We are glad to have it back and are excited to see that people are still interested in coming out to watch.”Ruethemann said.
-- Staff writer David Atchison contributed to this report.