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Registration open for Nanticoke River Cardboard Boat Regatta

Staff Writer Culture, Headlines

The seventh annual Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta will take place Saturday, Aug. 6 at the Nanticoke River Public Marine Park in Blades. 

Team competition is always intense in the recycled cardboard boat regatta sponsored by DNREC, the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, the Town of Blades and other environmental partners. (DNREC)

Are you capable of building a seaworthy cardboard boat? There’s only one way to find out!

The seventh annual Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta will take place Saturday, Aug. 6 at the Nanticoke River Public Marine Park in Blades. 

The event, which is returning after a two-year hiatus, is presented by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, Abbotts Mill Nature Center and the Town of Blades.

The regatta is open to anyone who can build a cardboard boat.

Sign-in and registration will begin at 11 a.m. Boats will be judged on appearances at 12 p.m. and races will begin at 12:30 p.m. 

The rain date is Sunday, Aug. 7.

Boats may be any size, shape, or design, but must be made of recycled cardboard. They should be painted with multiple coats of any indoor or exterior latex house paint. 

Decorations may be removed after judging and prior to the race. 

Participants who pre-register their boats by Saturday, July 30, will receive special early-bird pricing of $20 per boat. After that date, registration will increase to $30. 

Participants can also register on the day of the event.

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Adult participants will attempt to paddle their boats approximately 100 yards while children will try for 50 yards.

First-place awards will be given to winners in five race categories: individual, youth, teens, family, and organizations or businesses. 

Special awards will be given for “Pride of the Fleet,” “Most Whimsical Boat,” and “Team Spirit.” 

Spectators will be asked to pick a “People’s Choice” award winner while a special “Titanic Award” will be given for the “Most Dramatic Sinking!”

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Participants also are encouraged to challenge others to race in the Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta for one-on-one bragging rights. 

After all boat races are completed, skippers of cardboard boats may challenge another skipper to a race. For a challenge race, both challengers pay a $5 fee.

During the event, attendees can learn about the Reclaim Our River (ROR) partnership and how to help protect Delaware’s waterways. The ROR-Nanticoke Series is devoted to bringing 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.

The ROR partnership also welcomes event sponsors, with proceeds going toward event costs, projects that improve water quality, and water quality education. Sponsorships begin at $50.

Registration, rules and other information about the Cardboard Boat Regatta is available at this link. A video about the event including past regattas is posted on the DNREC YouTube channel.


This story was originally published by the Delaware Division of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. It has been edited for clarity.

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