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‘Corregatta’ hits the pond

  • Sherry York of Connecticut participates in Warwick's first Old Home Days Cardboard “Corregatta” boat race Sunday on Moores Pond while visiting her sister, Diane Ellis. Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Sherry York of Connecticut participates in Warwick's first Old Home Days Cardboard “Corregatta” boat race Sunday on Moores Pond while visiting her sister, Diane Ellis. Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Janice and Steve Kurkoski paddle a wood pallet surrounded by empty plastic bottles with Michael Humphries and Leigh Youngblood during Warwick's first Old Home Days Cardboard “Corregatta” boat race Sunday on Moores Pond. The vessell was made entirely from items found at the transfer station and particpated in its own "special category". Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Janice and Steve Kurkoski paddle a wood pallet surrounded by empty plastic bottles with Michael Humphries and Leigh Youngblood during Warwick's first Old Home Days Cardboard “Corregatta” boat race Sunday on Moores Pond. The vessell was made entirely from items found at the transfer station and particpated in its own "special category". Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Sherry York of Connecticut participates in Warwick's first Old Home Days Cardboard “Corregatta” boat race Sunday on Moores Pond while visiting her sister, Diane Ellis. Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • Janice and Steve Kurkoski paddle a wood pallet surrounded by empty plastic bottles with Michael Humphries and Leigh Youngblood during Warwick's first Old Home Days Cardboard “Corregatta” boat race Sunday on Moores Pond. The vessell was made entirely from items found at the transfer station and particpated in its own "special category". Recorder/Micky Bedell

WARWICK — The horn sounded, and they were off. Packed into boats constructed from cardboard, duct tape and paint, a handful of Warwick residents dug oars and paddles into the calm water of Moore’s Pond as they vied for the top spot in the town’s first annual “Corregatta” cardboard boat race.

The race was held on Sunday, as part of the town’s Old Home Day, which is known for unorthodox competitions like a satellite dish toss. The boats took a variety of shapes and forms, from the canoe-esque Porcupine One to the dogsled-themed Iditarod.

The event was first conceived during last year’s Old Home Day by Warwick resident Colleen Paul, who had seen a similar race involving bathtubs in Maine.

“It was kind of a whatever floats your boat type thing, we decided to do homemade cardboard,” Paul said.

While some of the boats were able to glide through the water with as much finesse as a true kayak, others were not so lucky. One boat, a green box-shaped vessel with a skull and crossbones painted on the side, capsized almost immediately after leaving the starting line. Another, built by Beach Committee member Jim McRae and a friend that was manned by their two sons, broke apart half-way to the turn-around bouy, forcing the two to swim back to shore.

“We can fix it!” came a gleeful shout from one soaked sailor, as he dragged his crippled vessel up the sandy beach.

In the children’s division, Emile Marti, 9, came in first on his corregated surfboard.

“I used my hands and feet, so it was pretty tiring,” Marti said.

From the shore, about 50 town residents cheered the mariners on and snapped pictures. The competitors returned the enthusiasm, engaging in splashing matches as they passed each other on the water.

“I just want to say, recycling makes sense!” yelled Steve Korkoski, captain of Team Flaming O’s “S.S. George W. Roaf” boat, to the spectators as he and his three teammates rowed the only non-cardboard-based craft in the competition to shore. “This whole boat was built from the Warwick transfer station.”

Kurkoski said the team had salvaged all of the materials that they used to make their boat — empty milk jugs, a wooden pallet and discarded pool floats — from the dump earlier that day and would be returning it all later this week.

“There were a lot of engineering challenges involved, because we were the only four-person team in the race,” said Kukorski, who has training as an engineer. “I’m proud to belong to a town that lets me use my skills in a fun way.”

Brad Compton and Kasey Rolih, who built the winning Porcupine One, said their design used more than eight rolls of duct tape and cost them nearly $60.

“We put it together in about seven hours between Saturday and Sunday morning,” said Rolih.

“We were shocked that it handled so well,” said Compton. “We’re used to canoes, so we went with a similar design.”

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