Fun and Sun Aplenty at 27th Annual River Legacy Cardboard Boat Regatta

Seth Su and Dan Lahtaw hoisted Argo, the trim, royal blue boat they built themselves, and raced out of the water.

Quickly, they turned the boat to its side and began sopping water with towels.

“We named her Argo, the Greek word for swift,” Su said. “And it fits. She is very fast.”

Argo was among the 193 entries Saturday at the 27th annual River Legacy Cardboard Boat Regatta. The races challenge amateur boat builders to design, build and navigate boats made entirely of corrugated cardboard.

Competitors spent weeks designing and building their boats, which can hold anywhere from two to 10 people. On Saturday, they put the boats to the ultimate test: the wave pool at Hurricane Harbor.

Su and Lahtow, who attend 7th grade at Wedgwood Middle School in Fort Worth, spent nearly two months building Argo. Perfecting the boat’s curved front end proved the most challenging part.

“Because cardboard is flat, getting the front to curve was difficult,” Lahtow said. “But we knew that curve would be excellent for speed.”

Nearby, students from Remynse Elementary School in Arlington scrambled to salvage their boat, which had taken in a little too much water in the competition’s semifinal round. Even the allotted amount of duct tape could not rescue the boat.

But when the group learned it had advanced to the finals, students decided to try race the boat one last time.

“We had so much fun,” Angel Sanchez, 10, said. “The boat is falling apart, but we did really well.”

Emily Vargas, 10, added, “We will definitely be back next year. We learned a lot this time.”

Kristi Payne, spokeswoman for River Legacy Living Science Center, said the Cardboard Boat Regatta teaches students science, math and engineering.

Sebastian Salazar, 13, a 6th grade student at The Montessori Academy of Arlington, said he and his teammates learned another valuable lesson in building The Flash, which won the large boat division.

“We learned we had to work as a team to get anything done,” he said. “This was all about teamwork.”


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How much it is

Susan Schrock

The event is now over but admission was $8 at the gate.