Creativity Floats at the Cardboard Boat Regatta

Posted on October 2, 2011



Crowds gathered poolside Friday to watch homemade boats race across the IU Outdoor Pool in an attempt to win the 11th annual Cardboard Boat Regatta.

Hosted by the Council for Advancing Student Leadership, the Cardboard Boat Regatta featured 15 boats– six from the community and nine from IU. Although the boats could only be constructed out of cardboard and tape, many teams went above and beyond to give their boats a signature personality.

The event often attracts as many as 500 of people from the community and university. This year the crowd was smaller, but there was still a substantial turnout.

Deb Getz, the Director for Student Leadership Development, supports the event and its ability to bring the community and IU students together.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for both community and campus to come together in a social and healthy atmosphere,” Getz said. It’s a quieter year for the Regatta, but it goes up and down. But we’ll come back full force next year.”

IU Outdoor Pool manager Ryan Tabereaux enjoys the creative, and sometimes strange, boats that he gets to see each year.

Photo by Ally Suffrin

“In the past there was a paddle boat, kind of like what you see in the early 1900s going down the Ohio River. I also once saw a submarine, and some group once built a toilet on top of a platform.”

Although no toilets floated atop IU Outdoor Pool Friday, there were many interesting boats to see. A few standouts were a replica of the Willy Wonka boat that sails down the chocolate river; a large, gray boat shaped like a shark with a red open mouth bearing sharp white teeth; and a small, multi-colored hippie-mobile “Volkswagen” adorned with “LOVE.”

The pledge class from Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity was the only Greek-associated team.

“It was a really good bonding experience and made us come together and work toward a goal,” freshman pledge Jacob Morrison said. “It made us all feel closer and like we were a unit.”

This year was Junior Kelsie Margarida of the IU Student Alumni Association team’s first time participating in the event.

“I had no idea what I was getting into, but we built a boat and just winged it and worked on it for eight hours,” Margarida said. “We won last year but IU Outdoor Adventures is the big competition for us this year.”

Awards were given for the top three fastest teams, and special awards were given for the most creative boats. “Wonkatania,” by the Counsilman Center Indiana Swim Team (CCIST), took first place in both categories under the leadership of Bailey Catt and Katie Kapelsohn.