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Annual Cedar Lake Race Sports Cardboard Canoes

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Students in last year’s Cedarville University Cardboard Canoe Race paddle across Cedar Lake in their coated cardboard and packaging tape creation. This year’s race begins Friday, Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. on Cedarville University’s Cedar Lake. The crowd-pleasing event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the University public relations office at 937-766-7808. Photo credit: Scott L. Huck/Cedarville University

by Public Relations Office

September 17, 2004

Cedarville, Ohio—Cedarville University freshman engineering students will showcase their design skills on Cedar Lake in the 12th annual Elmer W. Engstrom Department of Engineering`s Cardboard Canoe Race. By Friday, Oct. 1, more than 25 teams of Cedarville students will have designed and built canoes entirely from coated cardboard (the same cardboard used in canned soda packaging) and packaging tape. Beginning at 3 p.m. on that day, each boat will be launched from one end of Cedar Lake and paddled by two of its designers in a race to cross the lake in the shortest time. A third person will act as "baggage" in the canoe to make the race more challenging. Last year`s champion boat was paddled by mechanical engineering majors Jeremy Conyers of Cary, N.C., and Tim O`Donnell of Olathe, Kan. O`Donnell reflected, "The cardboard canoe race is a lot more than just a race. It is a teamwork effort where we test our creativity to build a fast and reliable boat. ... Our group worked on the boat for 20 hours or so. "After all the preparation," he continued, "there was still no assurance that we would do well. During the race, one of our important supports snapped, but Jeremy grabbed it and held it together while we kept paddling. We were elated when our crippled boat crossed the finish line with the top time. I wish I could do the whole thing again!" An additional phase of the contest encourages non-engineering students to compete as representatives of their respective departments. These students race against each other to win the Cedarville Cup, a traveling trophy. All teams which successfully cross the lake are eligible to square off in the race`s grand finale: the demolition derby. The last team with their canoe floating will be declared "Kings/Queens of the Lake." The crowd-pleasing event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the University public relations office at 937-766-7808. -30-