Cardboard boat race creates a splash in Plymouth Harbour
A tiny flotilla of makeshift boats, made entirely from cardboard, braved the waves of Plymouth Harbour as the Cardboard Boat Race returned to the city.
Competing teams had been given four hours to design a boat to carry two team mates across the 250m course in the fastest time. The teams consisted of up to four people, who were provided with materials and tools including eight cardboard sheets, eight tubes, duct tape and quick-dry varnish – the competitors were also strongly advised to bring swimwear.
One of the aims of the Cardboard Boat Race is to encourage young people to pursue careers in engineering.
"It is about turning theory into something practical and then seeing it actually work," organiser amd engineer Adam Stables said.
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Taking part were brother and sister Samuel and Rebecca Walker, who had team up with mum and granddad – both of whom are engineers – and built a boat called 'Next Generation', which won the under 18's category.
"The best part about it was not sinking," Samuel said.
"It was really fun to sail around. We called the boat 'Next Generation' because three different generations helped build it," his sister added.
The winners were Orin Wilson and Tom Ankrom who completed the course in just over two and a half minutes.
"The way we look at it, we could not really win either way. We would either lose to the children or be the adults who beat the children," they joked.
Their winning design was based on a Canadian canoe.
The event was hosted by the Plymouth and Devon Schools Sailing Association (PDSSA), sponsored by Babcock (Devonport Royal Dockyard) and run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Royal Institute of Naval Architects (RINA) and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST).
The first Cardboard Boat Race took place in 2010. There was no race in 2011, but Adam Stables said the goal was to make it an annual event.