Archive for Saturday, September 20, 1997


September 20, 1997


Fancy, floatable creations are expected this afternoon for a cardboard boat race at Perry Lake.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Actually, it's a boat.

"It's a big pink flamingo," Sammie Messick said Friday, describing the cardboard boat she and her husband, Jeff, built in their Lawrence home.

Messick will captain the colorful craft today in the Perry Lake Yacht and Marina's second annual Cardboard Boat Race.

The race, which starts at 2 p.m., weather permitting, is expected to draw several cardboard boats, said Bob Best, who owns the yacht and marina.

"We don't know how many people will enter," Best said. "It's just a fun entertainment activity for young and old to try to come in and create a floating cardboard boat."

Last year there were only three entries, but many people watching. The result?

"We had two out of the three sink," he said.

Because this is the second year, design improvements among the participants are expected, he said.

"The whole idea is for everybody to have fun," he said.

Prizes will be given for the best time and the most creative boat.

"Last year we gave out prizes for the most laughs," he said.

Best said he has come up with rules for the contest concerning materials that can be used. The boats can't be motorized and only cardboard and paper products can be used.

Rules were sent to 450 families showing interest, he said.

One rule concerns pets -- "none are allowed on board unless it's a dog that barks when the boat is sinking."

Another rule is somewhat environmental in nature.

"They have to attach a rope and plastic milk jug to their vessel so we can find it later," Best said.

The Messicks are the returning champions of last year's race.

Jeff Messick, a Lawrence architect, will cheer and videotape the event from the dock while Sammie paddles the flamingo on the 100-yard course.

"We're defending our title," said Sammie, who works in Kansas University's student housing department. "I'll need both oars in the water."

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