Cardboard Boats Race for the Food Bank

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COLUMBIA - At Philips Lake Park on Saturday there were ducks, dogs, picnic baskets...and the mystery machine all in cardboard form. Saturday marked the first annual Float Your Boat for the Food Bank cardboard boat regatta. Twenty-two teams took to the water with their cardboard creations for the fundraiser which was a joint project between the University of Missouri's College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) and the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.

According to organizers, the event raised $2,260 for the food bank and collected an estimated 1,800 pounds of food. Teams that brought in food donations were given a deduction in their overall race time.

Rachel Ellersieck works for the food bank and said she was surprised by how well all of the boats did. "I never expected all the boats that made it to make it. I thought we'd have half of them in the water from the beginning but that only happened with few boats," Ellersieck said.

But not everyone was as lucky. Benjamin and Anna Zach captained the "Ruddy Duck" which won the Titanic Award. "We went about two feet the first time and eight feet the second time," Benjamin said. He also said they were hoping to win best design but that didn't happen and hoped their boat would float and that didn't work either," Benjamin said.

Each heat featured two teams and their boats going head to head. The winning boat was "Patty Mae" with a time of 40.72 seconds, followed by "USS Enterprise" in second, and "BoComo" in third. David Owens built the Patty Mae and said he's going to dry the boat and take it out on more lakes. "I'm going to float it and see how long it will last," Owens said.

While Owens took the Patty Mae with him, most of the cardboard boats ended up in a nearby dumpster.

Ellersieck also said organizers hope to double the amount of boats for next year.