Middlefield Park and Recreation held its first cardboard boat race at Lake Beseck on Sept. 7, 2013.
This was not a race for little cardboard boxes with small sails attached, however. It was a race for boats that carry people — people paddling, racing, and, most likely, sinking.
The idea came to Park and Rec from the Lake Beseck Association, according to Park and Rec’s Amy Poturnicki, who helped to run the event.
According to the rules, the boats must be made entirely of cardboard and duct tape. Decorations and team costumes were encouraged, although they could not aid in the flotation of the boat. The racers — let’s optimistically call them “boaters” — paddled out to a marker about as far out as the swim markers or a little farther and then — let’s be optimistic again — back.
Teams and groups were encouraged to participate. According to Poturnicki, the Lake Environmental Committee had a team. Middlefield First Selectman Jon Brayshaw and state Rep. Buddy Altobello participated and state Sen. Dante Bartolomeo attended.
“Considering that these boats carried multiple people on a material that can be effortlessly torn apart by children, sinking seemed to be an inevitable part of the contest. In addition to prizes for first, second and third place finishes, Most Spectacular Sinking was also recognized.
Poturnicki said that the race was designed to be a “last hurrah” to celebrate Lake Beseck. The race was the last lake event of the summer and the last one before the draw down of the lake’s water level.
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