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Annual Cape Coral Cardboard Boat Regatta sets sail at Seahawk Park

Posted at 5:34 PM, Apr 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-18 11:41:58-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — It’s time to grab your best paddle and say ‘Aye Aye!’

The Cape Coral Cardboard Boat Regatta could be seen setting sail at Seahawk Park this morning. On the shores of a small lake within Seahawk Park, a boat regatta for the ages took place.

“I’m looking for everybody who participates in this to have a good time and everybody to be safe in the water.”

It's not just any regatta- the annual Cape Coral Cardboard Boat Regatta dates back to 1994! Organized by the rotary club, it’s been an annual tradition ever since.

"We had, I would say, close to 2,000 people at the last event," says John Calla, Chairman of the Cape Coral Cardboard Boat Regatta. "This one it looks like we have probably got between 800 and 1,000 people plus.”

People from businesses, schools, youth groups, non-profits- all submitting their cardboard boat. Like the New Residents Club of Cape Coral and their craft ‘Queen of the Gulf.’

"The event is one thing but it’s the group of people that we get together with," said Frank Radochonski with the New Residents Club of Cape Coral. "There’s about 35 of us and we’ve all formed great friendships. To me, that’s the icing on the cake. This is just the thing that puts it together for us, if you know what I mean.”

And using only cardboard you can bet there needs to be some pretty precise calculations to make sure these boats float.

"We have an engineer in our group who does the calculations and that’s what we work from," says Radochonski. "We’ve done it in the past and we’ve been able to row it and it hasn’t sunk on its own, so far! So I think we have pretty great confidence in that.”

But float or sink it hardly matters. What matters is the amount of fun these sea skippers have.

Said Calla, “I know it’s a lot of work- I mean I’ve been birthing this thing for two and a half years- but to see the crowd, to see what’s going on and the excitement and to get the community together- there’s no better feeling than this.”

You can learn more about the history of the event right here.