Con Ed Cardboard Kayak Race



HarborLAB receives the award for “Fastest Sinker.”

The summer raced by, but not so fast as HarborLAB’s entrant into the annual Con Ed Cardboard Kayak Race sank. Again…

Yes, for the second year running, HarborLAB’s boat sank faster than any competitor at the event, which is a central attraction of City of Water Day on Governors Island, produced by Waterfront Alliance. The event itself is sponsored by, of course, Con Ed. We’ve raced only twice, but we believe we’re pushing the outer limits of human ability and the laws of physics in how fast a boat can go under without excluding a hull altogether. Boats afire have lasted longer than ours. But our team is also doubtless quickest to smile and laugh, and to help others. We fellow volunteers feel like winners to have such company!  🙂

Our team was captained by student Shinjie Lim, with Alessandro Byther heading up the impromptu design. About a half-dozen volunteers participated in the building of what became a somewhat top-heavy water dragon. About an equal number of HarborLAB volunteers were assigned to water safety and dock duty, which we provide each year along with paddles and life vests for each of the competitors. Fortunately “rescues” more often amounted to dragging soggy wrecks back to the dock while their crews swam ahead laughingly. The nanosecond sinking of HarborLAB’s dragon ensured impartiality for the duration of the race, which consisted of several heats. The winners were again the Steven’s Institute of Technology.

See one team go under:

Before all the racing zaniness HarborLAB volunteers enjoyed a terrific day of educating at our table, providing free kayaking to the public, and paddling our Tule-Tankwa, a reed boat that we built with high school students (see earlier posts).

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