Ahoy matey: Yukoners compete in the territory’s first Cardboard Boat Races

Alex Coughlin, 14, front, and his brother Matthew, 16, race across the Canada Games Centre swimming pool during Skills Canada Yukon’s first annual Cardboard Boat Races on Aug. 16. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
MacKenzie Jenner, 12, tears off a piece of duck tape during the building of his team’s cardboard boat, the SS Shark Bait, in Whitehorse on Aug. 16, 2019. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Teams during the construction phase of the Skills Canada Cardboard Boat Races in Whitehorse on Aug. 16, 2019. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Baden Anderson-Lindsay carries his team’s boat at the end of the construction period in Whitehorse on Aug. 16, 2019. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
A racer carries his boat from the building area to the pool in Whitehorse on Aug. 16, 2019. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Matthew Coughlin, 16, left, and his brother Alex, 14, carry their boat from the construction area to the pool during the Skills Canada Cardboard Boat Races in Whitehorse on Aug. 16, 2019. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Team Cardboard Unicorn is the first to race their cardboard boat across the Canada Games Centre’s pool in Whitehorse on Aug. 16, 2019. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Baden Anderson-Lindsay, left, and boat partner, Asher Johnson, make their way across the Canada Games Centre pool in Whitehorse on Aug. 16, 2019. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Asher Johnson, 10, cheers as him and his teammate make it across the pool in their cardboard boat without sinking in Whitehorse on Aug. 16, 2019. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Alex Coughlin, 14, front, and his brother Matthew, 16, pile their water logged cardboard boat at the pools edge after racing in Whitehorse on Aug. 16, 2019. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Jacqueline de Jage, 12, studies what is left of her cardboard boat with Skills Canada judge Scott Novak in Whitehorse on Aug. 16, 2019. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Skills Canada Cardboard Boat Races trophy in Whitehorse on Aug. 16, 2019. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Team Cardboard Unicorn is presented the first place carboard races trophy in Whitehorse on Aug. 16, 2019. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Skills Canada Yukon made a big splash last Friday with participants who competed in the territory’s first Cardboard Boat Races.

Teams met at the Canada Games Centre (CGC) where they were provided with the supplies needed to make their vessels. Each team of two to four people was given cardboard, one roll of duct tape, one roll of packing tape, scissors, a tape measure, cutters and an hour and a half to design and build.

Each boat then had to carry two of the team members across the CGC pool without sinking. Racers were not allowed to construct paddles and had to use their hands in lieu of. Some boats glided across the pool with ease, while others were barely able to hold their passengers at the start line.

“The purpose of the event was for people to use their design, research, and teamwork skills to construct a vessel that could float and carry two people with only the supplies provided,” said Samantha Hand, executive director of Skills Canada Yukon.

“Participants learned about structure, buoyancy, displacement, and direction control of a boat, all while having a blast.”

Teams were judged by Skills Canada Yukon alumni on the speed in which they made it across the pool (if they did make it) and the appeal and construction of the boat, including the least amount of waste.

After racing, even if their boats could no longer float, each team had a chance to compete in the Titanic (most dramatic sinking) category.

Team Cardboard Unicorn won the main category with the fastest race time and best constructed boat.

Skills Canada Yukon is planning to make this an annual event, said Hand. Those interested can watch for updates on the Skills Canada Yukon Facebook page or website.

“All are welcome to join,” said Hand, “as this is a family friendly event.”

Contact Crystal Schick at crystal.schick@yukon-news.com

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