Janice McKee watched as members of a cardboard boat shaped like a hot dog maneuvered their way through the waters of Clinton Lake.
"It's amazing that the boats are made out of cardboard and manage to float so well," McKee said.
The hot-dog boat, known as the Salty Dog, was designed by Haase & Long as the company's entry into the Second Annual Leadership Lake Challenge. A fundraiser for Leadership Lawrence, the event allows businesses and organizations to put their creativity to work designing and racing cardboard boats.
Leadership Lawrence is a program offered through the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. The course provides professional development and firsthand exposure to the inner workings of Lawrence and Douglas County.
Thirty-three boats were entered in the competition, and hundreds of spectators turned out to watch crews row the boats to victory or sink in the process.
"We had a great turnout," said Leadership Lawrence executive director Nancy Longhurst. "Based on our count, there were about 800 people."
Longhurst said officials would find out how much money the fundraiser brought in on Monday. The entry fee per boat was $400, which would exceed $13,000. That figure doesn't included concession sales.
The event included different heats for children and adults. Longhurst said the companies and organizations sponsored the boats for the children groups.
Boy Scouts from Troop 59 dominated the children's category, winning first and second places with their entries: The Viking Ship and Jaws. The Viking Ship also won the children's title of "Pride of the Fleet," which won best overall boat and team. Jaws took home the "Vogue Award," which went to the best-looking ship.
Several boats fell to pieces or sank during the competition. About half the ships couldn't have even placed because the cool waters of Clinton Lake proved to be too much for the cardboard boats, which were held together with glue and tape.
"Watching the boats sink is one of the best parts," McKee said.
Thirty-three cardboard boats entered the Leadership Lake Challenge. Not all survived, but here are the race winners: ¢ Adults: 1st: Power to the People - Westar Energy 2nd: The Leadership Sharks - Leadership Lawrence members 3rd: The S.S. Unusual - People's Bank ¢ Youths: 1st: The Viking Ship - Boy Scouts of America Troop 59 2nd: Jaws - B.S.A. Troop 59 3rd : Sharpening your leadership skills - Chamber and Leadership Lawrence kids Other winners Although they didn't all make it to the finish line, many of them were still winners: Best of awards in the adult heat: ¢ Pride of the Fleet: Most creative design and best use of cardboard: The HMS Bulldozer - Leadership Lawrence Class of 2004 and 2005 ¢ Vogue Award: Most attractive or spectacular looking: Douglas County Chompers - Wiklund, Peterson, Krische dentists ¢ Team Spirit Award: Most spirited and best organized crew: The Sandbar - The Sandbar ¢ The Best Theme (includes boat and crew): The Banana Split - Chamber Envoys ¢ The Commander's Choice award - best all-around: Power to the People - Westar Energy ¢ The Titanic Award: "Most Spectacular Sinking:" Bubbles - Lawrence Journal-World/Sunflower Broadband ¢ Big Bobber Award (for best bobbing): Sour Sirens - Sauer-Danfoss Inc. Best of awards in the youth heat: ¢ Pride of the fleet: The Viking Ship ¢ Team Spirit award: The Sizzler - Boys & Girls Club ¢ Vogue: Jaws ¢ Best Theme: The Scourge of the High C's - The Lawrence Children's Choir