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Ambitions set sail Friday at 13th annual Cardboard Boat Regatta Race

Students, teachers and STEM professionals competed Friday in the Cardboard Regatta Race at the Bettendorf Middle Park Lagoon.

BETTENDORF, Iowa — Teams from Quad Cities area high schools and colleges competed Friday, May 13 in a special kind of design competition at the Bettendorf Middle Park Lagoon.

The Cardboard Boat Regatta Race, run by the Quad City Engineering & Science Council, forced local students, teachers and STEM professionals to get creative with cardboard. Teams had to construct a boat entirely out of cardboard that could carry one-to-three people, was easy to maneuver and was able to stay afloat for 600 yards. 

But there's more to it than just staying afloat. Boats were also judged based on how long it takes for them to leave the dock and return, with the fastest team taking the top prize. The judges also gave awards for most innovative and best decorative designs.

Bettendorf junior Calvin Curcija was on a team of two. 

"I definitely thought the paddle would have held up a little bit better than it did," Curcija said, "and I don't know just seeing like all the different types of boats that come out here like seeing the time some of them put up, like two minutes. It's insane to think about some of the guys going around this that quick."

Curcija said he and his partner were looking for a two-minute time but believed they came in around four minutes. He and his teammate spent the past two weeks or so building their boat.

"I was definitely nervous, you know, and it's just one of those things where ... you never know if you're quite ready because it's nothing that you've ever really done before," Curcija said. "So you go out there and you don't know whether it's going to hold. So you just have to hope." 

Teams were separated into three competition groups:

  • High schoolers.
  • College students.
  • Teachers, school administrators and science, technology, engineering and math professionals.

Find results from previous regatta races here.

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