Cardboard Canoes to Race Across Cedar Lake in Annual Event

by Public Relations Office - Cedarville, OH

Cedarville, Ohio-Cedarville University freshman engineering students will showcase their design skills on Cedar Lake in the 14th annual Cardboard Canoe Race on Friday, Oct. 6.

Up to 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., each boat will be launched from the north end of Cedar Lake and paddled by two of its designers in a race to cross the lake in the shortest time. Entrants may ask any non-engineering student, faculty, or staff to act as “baggage” to make the race more challenging.

Last year’s champion boat was designed and constructed by Steve Smith, Garrett Wieronski, Timothy Vincent, and Nick Duncan. The effort was engaging for Smith. “I spent almost all my time working on the design and calculations with the other guys for a week,” Smith recalled. “Everyone seemed to pick up a specialty for different parts of the project over the two weeks.” In encouraging this year’s freshman entrants, he added, “Plan on pushing your canoe to the limit, either winning or sinking.”

An additional phase of the contest encourages non-engineering students to compete as representatives of their respective departments. The departments race for the Cedarville Cup, a traveling trophy. Last year the department of music and art captured the honor.

All teams that successfully cross the lake are eligible to square off in a closing demolition derby. The last team with a canoe afloat is then declared “Kings/Queens of the Lake.”

The crowd-pleasing tradition is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the University public relations office at 937-766-4159.