In the ultimate test of engineering, skill and a bit of luck participants paddlers pushed off the shore in Merigomish in boats built out of only cardboard and duct tape Saturday as part of the annual Merigomish Funfest.
There were some who sunk as soon as they left. Matthew Duff, who was paddling a banana boat looked like he was down and out from the start, but he proved that a bit of willpower was all he needed to keep his boat going as he completed the race, albeit well behind the leaders.
He admits there were times when he was out on the water when even he wondered if it would make it the distance, but decided to give it a shot anyway.
“I thought it be fun.”
Anna Stewart and Allie Williams claimed first prize, paddling together in their pink and yellow boat. The girls remained consistent throughout the race for the win.
“We practiced a lot and we worked hard on our boat,” Anna said.
Not far behind was Garrett Williams. Driving a boat, his father (a mechanic) had helped design, Garrett looked for a while like he might take the lead, but ran into a snag when his boat got caught on a buoy.
He still finished much better than last year when he had finished second from last though and says he’ll consider competing again.
This year’s boat was named in honour of his dog Morgan who recently passed away.
“My dog died last week. He was my second best friend and very special to me.”
The boat’s design turned out to be perfect, with not one drop of water coming in.
In addition to the boat races, there was a tug of war competition as well as music and a barbecue.