It was batten your hatches and full-speed ahead at Aurora's 12th Annual Cardboard Boat Race Saturday.
Contestants at Mastodon Lake in Phillips Park raced aboard 25 handmade cardboard boats, competing in heats for the chance to advance to the finals and win prizes at the event, which raised money for the Fox Valley United Way. Mike Meyer, CEO of the Fox Valley United Way, said this year's regatta drew the largest number of boats in the event's history.
"We're not here to win but to raise awareness about the United Way," said participant Susan Bill of Yorkville.
CANO Container in Aurora donated the cardboard, and boatbuilding pointers were available on the United Way's website. Still, sailing aboard a cardboard vessel has its shortcomings -- and a high chance of sinking.
"I was disappointed I did not finish the race in the boat," said Tracy Sherman Falcon of Aurora.
The event also featured food and entertainment for both boaters and spectators. More than 300 people showed up to cheer on the boats.
"It's a great time," Meyer said.