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Article updated: 8/18/2013 6:19 PM

Creative cardboard boats sail — and sink — in Fox Lake

Thomas Blanchette and Sid Carbone try to paddle as their cardboard boat “The Friend Ship” sinks at the start of the 16th Annual Fox Lake Cardboard Cup Regatta Sunday at Lakefront Park. The race offers medals and trophies to contestants who were limited to making boats out of cardboard, duct tape and paint.

Thomas Blanchette and Sid Carbone try to paddle as their cardboard boat "The Friend Ship" sinks at the start of the 16th Annual Fox Lake Cardboard Cup Regatta Sunday at Lakefront Park. The race offers medals and trophies to contestants who were limited to making boats out of cardboard, duct tape and paint.

 

Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

Spectators watch as sisters Madae and Mya Nieves, of Ingleside, paddle their “shark’” boat during the 16th Annual Fox Lake Cardboard Cup Regatta Sunday at Lakefront Park. The race offers medals and trophies to contestants who were limited to making boats out of cardboard, duct tape and paint.

Spectators watch as sisters Madae and Mya Nieves, of Ingleside, paddle their "shark'" boat during the 16th Annual Fox Lake Cardboard Cup Regatta Sunday at Lakefront Park. The race offers medals and trophies to contestants who were limited to making boats out of cardboard, duct tape and paint.

 

Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

Haley Masterton paddles her cardboard boat that was made to look like it was a car from the cartoon television show, “The Flintstones” during the 16th Annual Fox Lake Cardboard Cup Regatta Sunday at Lakefront Park. The race offers medals and trophies to contestants who were limited to making boats out of cardboard, duct tape and paint.

Haley Masterton paddles her cardboard boat that was made to look like it was a car from the cartoon television show, "The Flintstones" during the 16th Annual Fox Lake Cardboard Cup Regatta Sunday at Lakefront Park. The race offers medals and trophies to contestants who were limited to making boats out of cardboard, duct tape and paint.

 

Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

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Duct tape. Box cutters. Sheets of cardboard.

They won't get you through a security check at O'Hare, but they will get you on the waters of the Fox Lake.

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A festive crowd gathered Sunday afternoon to watch the 16th annual running of the Cardboard Boat Regatta at Lakefront Park in Fox Lake.

Fox Lake Parks and Recreation Coordinator Amy Serafin said at least 17 cardboard-and-duct-tape boats participated in Sunday's event. Just in case anybody sank, two divers from the local fire protection district were in the water at all times.

Serafin was impressed by the designs of the boats, and said the key was using lots of duct tape.

"I'm seeing a lot of creative folks," she said.

Among the more creative designs was the shark boat, replete with limbs projecting from its teeth designed by Jeff Myers, Sabrina Nieves, Mya Nieves and Madae Nieves of Ingleside.

Mya, 7, and Madae, 10, were dressed as shark victims and were smeared with fake blood.

Superhero themes were prevalent, such as the Batman boat with flares in the back and headlights protruding out the front, as well as a realistic looking imitation decal. The craft was completely covered with layers of black latex paint.

Its owner, Rich Morphew of Fox Lake, wore a Batman costume as he piloted himself and his five passengers on a successful run.

Morphew said his secret in staying afloat was cardboard from watermelon bins.

"It's like three quarters of an inch thick," he said. "It makes it more sturdy."

Plenty of "duck" tape was used by the team from Duck Lake Woods subdivision in Ingleside. Their boat had a duck head, complete with a bill.

One of their crew members was from South America.

"This is the best American experience in the summer I have ever had here," said Brenda Cornils, originally from Brazil. "I have a lot of Facebook friends, particularly in Brazil, and they can't understand this."

After its successful run, Cornils shouted triumphantly, "We did it!" She then added, "My mom's going to be so happy."

Serafin said the record for staying afloat is eight minutes. But it seemed like 11-year-old Haley Masterton of Plainfield matched it, in a boat modeled after a Flintstones vehicle but never managed to reach bedrock. Her endurance won over the crowd.

When asked how long she stayed in, she said, "Probably like 50 minutes."

"I feel happy that I might not have gotten leeches," she said, referring to her brother's experience when they participated last year.

As Kim Sutfin of Fox Lake said, "It's a lot harder than it looks."

Not every craft was seaworthy.

"It was kind of embarrassing, but you've just got to own it," said Ingleside resident Sid Carbone, whose flimsy vessel, "The Friend Ship," proved less than friendly, sinking like a stone into the water. When told he could earn honors for being the fastest sinking.

"That's definitely what we were going out to do," he said.

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