Matt Balderston, left, and Ben East compete Friday in the Moffat County High School Science Olympic's event, the Great Cardboard Boat Regatta. Balderston and East won fastest boat.

Photo by Darian Warden

Matt Balderston, left, and Ben East compete Friday in the Moffat County High School Science Olympic's event, the Great Cardboard Boat Regatta. Balderston and East won fastest boat.

Titanic award sought at annual MCHS cardboard regatta

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From left, Ashley Suits, Chelsie Smith and Jessie Suits compete Friday in the Great Cardboard Boat Regatta at Loudy-Simpson Park. Their ship, "Knight and Armour," stayed afloat for the entire course.

As the ship broke apart and sunk down into the frigid waters below, Brenden Spencer and Trent Parrott bravely clung on and went down with their ship, “Big.”

Then they slowly drug it to the shoreline at Loudy Simpson Park and shivered as they hauled it out of the water.

Spencer and Parrot participated in the 2012-13 Moffat County High School Science Olympics event "the Great Cardboard Boat Regatta" Friday afternoon.

Spencer and Parrott’s epic sinking scored them the Titanic award for being the most spectacular.

The annual event has been happening for several years now, and Heather Fross, chair of the science department at MCHS, said every year draws more spectators.

Participants may only use corrugated cardboard, glues, paint, caulking and duct tape to construct their boats with teams of two to four people.

Fross said the event had 23 teams enter this year with about half of those participating required and the other half volunteering. Students in the advanced science topics are required to enter a boat.

Fross said grades are determined by the time the boat took to complete the course, overall construction and design of boat and overall appearance, creativity and effort.

The fastest boat was Matt Balderston and Ben East’s “S.S. YOLO.” The best-designed boat was the “U.S.S. Belly Flop,” by Bailey Pike, Samantha Gingrich and Hannah Reynolds.

The best team spirit award went to Shaye Zimmerman, Shaylyn Buckley and Jordan Meagher for “Party Rockin.” The Titanic award went to Trent Parrott and Brenden Spencer for “Big.”

Students said it took them anywhere from five days to two weeks to construct their boats. Some boats didn’t make it off the dock before sinking, whereas others made it to the middle of the pond before plunging down.

No matter how far they made it though, students stuck with their boats and brought them in.

And with so many boats that did sink, the Titanic award was coveted.

Juniors Cody McDermott and Derek Maiolo said before the start of the race that they would be winning the Titanic award with their boat, the “MoCo River Rats,” based on its construction. Although they did sink, they didn’t win.

“I was still sticking with it even when the boat was upside down and I only had a small piece of cardboard to swim with,” McDermott said.

Parrott said he hoped he would win something, considering it was his senior year.

“It’s so much fun to see all the family and community come out and support the kids,” Fross said. “And the commitment these kids put into it. They don’t have class time for this. They spend hours of their own time working on it. And they take pride in racing it even if it sinks.”

Darian can be reached at 875-1793 or dwarden@craigdailypress.com

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