15th annual Carboard Boat Race is a fun event for students, alumni
The annual Homecoming Cardboard Boat Race is celebrating its 15 year anniversary on Saturday at the Rose Ponds near the Student Activity Center.
Brian DeJong, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, has helped out for five years and said he expects about 200 participants for the event, which begins at 1 p.m.
The teams have to build a boat and paddles with limited supplies and a pretend budget. The students may only use cardboard, duct tape and liquid nails provided by the School of Engineering and Technology.
“It’s a project for the introduction to engineering students and they have to build the boat with intelligence of engineering or else they won’t get across,” DeJong said.
The race is the length of about three to four football fields and the teams are created of five to six people, but only three or four can actually ride in the boat.
Sophomore Christopher Gargarello said getting across is his main concern for the project and he doesn’t want his teammates to sink.
“We don’t necessarily have to win the race, I don’t expect that. Just getting across is the goal,” the Beal City native said.
DeJong said students spend a week learning the concepts behind building the boat and then only have a week to actually create their boat.
Gargarello said the time frame of making the boat has been the biggest challenge for his group.
“We have classes and other stuff we have to work around to find time between Monday when we start and Friday when it has to be done,” Gargarello said.
Adam Mock, an assistant professor of electrical engineering, said many students have a tendency to try to jump ahead and want to start building without proper analysis and theoretical design.
The event is mainly for the entertainment of Homecoming week and DeJong said he is excited to see all previous boat racers come back to spectate.
“The excitement of the camaraderie of everyone coming together is the best part,” DeJong said. “Plus, racers can invite their family and friends to watch since it’s Homecoming and that makes for a great time.”
Students that are participating in the race are equally as excited but also have a few worries going into race day.
“It’s cold. It’s October in Michigan, I just don’t want our team to sink,” Gargarello said.
The times of previous years have been collected and posted up for all to see. The race is timed and the fastest time recorded is 4 minutes and 58 seconds.
There are no prizes given out, but DeJong said there are definite bragging rights for the winner of the race.
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