Cardboard Boat Race 2013

Would you build a boat out of cardboard, cover it in copious amounts of duct tape, and set it afloat (with your children inside) in the Hudson River? Apparently, I would. And I did.

Well, to be more accurate, my kids were set afloat in the narrowest part of the Hudson River, which is located in Schyulerville, New York, where they host the annual Hudson Crossing Park Cardboard Boat Race. And it might be a stretch to imply that I built the boat, because I contributed to the effort not at all. My husband, my kids, and Pop did the work, with Gramma making countless runs to the hardware store for duct tape.

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Our boat (modeled after a 1973 Plymouth Barracuda–don’t even ask) was wobbly but it didn’t capsize–at least until its second race. A group of local firemen had the most spectacular collapse of the event. They dive-bombed their own craft mid-river, earning themselves the coveted Titanic Award. Yet no matter how you do in the Cardboard Boat Race, it’s a transient glory. Afterward, the soggy boats wilt into an amorphous sponginess, and most are unceremoniously tossed in a dumpster nearby. Until next year!