On Saturday Oct. 1, 2011, the annual “Great Bamboo Boat Race” was held during Hawktoberfest at Family Weekend. Out of the 15 teams registered, 13 participated in three separate heats, the two preliminary races and the final. The teams had three hours to cobble together a seaworthy vessel out of raw materials that could carry them to victory.
According to the “Great Bamboo Boat Race” website, each team was given a construction kit containing lengths of bamboo, plastic sheeting, twine, and duct tape with access to power tools. The team members could elicit help from friends and family, but only a maximum of six people could actually build the boats. They were captained by one or two brave souls on a triangular course next to the docks.
“I was really impressed with the construction of the boats and the perseverance of people pulling boats behind them,” said Brenda Maas, a SMCM parent who attended the event. “It was great, really exciting.”
Of the six boats in the final heat, five teams won cash prizes of $300 or less. The losing teams left empty-handed, but exhilarated by the experience. “It went well,” said Lisa Williams, a sophomore who was a builder on one of the teams. “It was just for fun.”
The five winning teams were Lost Johnson in first place, Windsurfing in second, We Grade You in third, Whorecruxes in fourth, and Ra in fifth. All of the teams who participated showed great dedication to their boats, some swimming them to the finish.