This year’s cardboard boat race was the largest in CSM history with 43 teams braving the chilly waters of Clear Creek. Teams lined up starting at 8:30 am looking anxiously at the cloudy skies and chilly temperatures. As 9 am rolled around, students, alumni, faculty, and Golden residents were already lining the banks of Clear Creek, anticipating the first boat to go in the water.
The Tau Beta Pi cardboard boat race is one of the most well attended and anticipated events of E-Days. One member of the community remarked that she and her husband had been attending the race every year for over 13 years. Teams of at least three students, faculty, or alumni build boats out of only cardboard and race them through the creek to win Amazon gift card prizes for fastest boat, best representation of E-Days theme, and best engineered boat. Teams are allowed to use duct tape as an adhesive, but not to seal the boat and waterproof it. Many students use beer boxes because they have a plastic coating to keep them from getting wet; others use large cardboard tubes as pontoons to keep themselves afloat. A few brave teams built rafts and braved the cold water with no cardboard protection.
One team was dressed up as characters from The Flintstones, accompanied by a foot powered car boat complete with a canopy. Another team drove a cardboard Magic School Bus down the river with a red-wig wearing Miss Frizzle. Several dinosaurs swam down the creek, and one boat proudly displayed a “Make America Great Again!” flag and a Donald Trump mask at the helm. As the sun finally came out, participants began making their way down the river. Some crashed and burned from the very beginning, sinking at the shallow start area. Others made it over the first waterfall before sinking. Still, many boats made it all the way through the course, cheering as they crossed the finish line.
The fastest boat, built by team Triple G, cruised through the course in a quick 32 seconds. Triple G team members Ryan Hooker, Andrew Grewe, Risten Baker, Jordan Linton, Catherine Gable, and Emma Wertheimer crafted a simple yet solid canoe shaped boat to maneuver quickly and deftly. Team Hydrosphere took home the “Best Representation of E-Days Theme” prize with their cardboard Jurassic Park Jeep replica. Team members Alexander Koller, John Hickey, Ethan Meeks, and Bryce Bastian even edited the Jurassic Park logo on the side of the Jeep to say their team name Hydrosphere. Finally, the “Best Engineered” prize went to Team Aquaholics. Team members Jon Paz, Evelyn Lundeen, Aidan Sklenka, Cole Moore, Carollyne Creswick, Elyse Denault, and Sean Cummins built their boat with a solid inner lining of cardboard tubes, making it more resistant to leaks or breakage.
Overall, Tau Beta Pi once again pulled off a fantastic event. Great job to everyone who participated and volunteered at the event!