Blades – The Third Annual Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta – presented by the Delaware Nature Society’s Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, in conjunction with DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship’s Reclaim Our River Program (ROR), the Town of Blades, the Nanticoke River Sail & Power Squadron, the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, and the Nanticoke Yacht Club – cast off with great ceremony Saturday, Aug. 6 at the Nanticoke River Public Marine Park in Blades and finished as the most entertaining race yet in the increasingly popular event’s brief history.
A crowd of some 250 people gathered at the marina to see who built the fastest boat and more importantly, who among the boat builders were competing for the prestigious “Titanic Award.” The mood was light and festive on the hot sunny Saturday as the crowd waited for judging results and also to hear the winner of the “People’s Choice Award.” Spectators spent the morning visiting the ROR partners’ exhibits and enjoying food provided by the Blades United Methodist Church. The goal of the event was to provide a fun recreational activity that connects Sussex County residents with their waterways, while providing important information on how to protect Delaware’s aquatic resources.
The Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta was open to anyone who could build a boat from recycled cardboard and paddle it approximately 200 yards from the race start to the regatta finish line. First-place awards were given for winners of races in four different categories: individual, family, clubs and businesses, and non-profits and government organizations.
Awards winners were:
- Best Decorated Boat – 82 Marine 1 – sponsored by the Lewes Fire Company and captained by Sara Esposito
- Best Team Effort – Swamp Monster – sponsored by Trap Pond State Park and captained by Courtney Betts
- Most Whimsical – Swamp Monster – sponsored by Trap Pond State Park and captained by Courtney Betts
- Pride of the Fleet – 82 Marine 1 – sponsored by the Lewes Fire Company and captained by Sara Esposito
- People’s Choice – Swamp Monster – sponsored by Trap Pond State Park and captained by Courtney Betts
- Titanic Award – Ravenger – sponsored by Cub Scout Pack 182 and captained by James & Avery Stroup
- Individual Race Winner – Hibiki – Captained by Troy Julian
- Family Race Winner – 82 Marine 1 – sponsored by the Lewes Fire Company and Captained by Sara Esposito
- Non Profits/Government – Swamp Monster – sponsored by Trap Pond State Park and captained by Courtney Betts
- Businesses/Clubs – The Johnny – Sponsored by Johnny Janosik Furniture and captained by Ken Everline
Judging was by Gallery 107, the Nanticoke River Arts Council. Sponsors of the event include Mow-N-Trim, Peninsula Oil and the Nanticoke River Yacht Club. A special thanks was given to the rescue boat volunteers.
The Reclaim Our River – Nanticoke Series is devoted to bringing monthly events, workshops and recreational activities to the Nanticoke Watershed. The series offers participants fun opportunities to connect with Delaware’s waterways and provides important information on water quality that can help in protecting aquatic resources.
Image Credits: DNREC