Float Your Boat racers plan a cardboard comeback

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COLUMBIA – The annual Float Your Boat for the Food Bank races are Saturday and teams have spent the past few days building their crafts.

The Float Your Boat race invites competitors to build their own ships out of cardboard and then race to win a prize. The goal is to raise money for the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.

The main money-maker for the Float Your Boat is the People's Choice Award, which is determined by which team raises the most money for its design.

There are other prizes for the boats themselves, like Best in Show, Can't Believe It's Cardboard, Best Use of a Theme, Ugliest Boat, Titanic Award for Best Sinking, Bass Pro Shops Award and Pirate Class Award.

When it comes to Float Your Boat, competitors can win any of the awards above or awards for winning races. One team plans to win big this year.

"We want to do better than last year," participant Isaiah Davis-Stover said. "We set kind of a high bar last year, we placed second and I think we did pretty ok, but I want to do even better this year."

Last year, Davis-Stover and his teammates represented the Wildfolk Unschool. This year, they've joined together as the Ice Keepers, a group that wants to promote a healthy environment while also serving the community.

"I think it is a great way to help the Food Bank as well as have fun with cardboard." said Carina Hawks, also a member of Ice Keepers.

The group's boat design this year is a canoe decorated like a penguin. Members believe the specifications of their craft will help them achieve victory. After all, they know how important shape is when it comes to sailing.

"One year, somebody made a B-2 bomber," Davis-Stover said. "It was a bunch of college students. It was completely wrapped in duct tape. It really failed." 

"Some people went out in squares," Hawks said. "That did not work if you were trying go with speed at all." 

The three-time People's Choice award-winning Environmental Dynamics International will also return to the cardboard boat-racing scene, and members said they plan to win the award a fourth time.

According to the Food Bank, every $10 raised is worth about $210 worth of food due to the deals it has worked out with other partners.

The races start at 11 a.m. 

(Editor's Note: The original version of this story listed the team Ice Keepers as "Ice Defenders." The story has been changed with the correct name.)