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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Low Wood No Wood - Cumbria cardboard boat race

IT was only a matter of time before their boats sank but that didn’t stop dozens of wannabe sailors from taking to the water.

Made entirely of cardboard, vessels of all shapes and sizes, held together by bits of sticky tape, were launched on their doomed journeys for Saturday’s Low Wood No Wood cardboard boat race gala.

Among them were the teachers of St Pius X Primary School in Barrow, who set sail – briefly – on a raft named Pom Pius.

Unfortunately it fell apart within moments of touching the water. Teacher Phil Marshall joked: “We didn’t actually record a time. The boat sank pretty much as soon as we set off. I think it was a case of too many people being in the boat.”

Held at Low Wood Bay, near Ambleside, 22 teams entered the regatta, now in its second year, with an array of creative boats.

Schools, families, businesses and groups of friends had spent weeks sculpturing vessels made out of corrugated cardboard.

The object of the contest, aside from all the fun, was to paddle around a course in the quickest time – a feat a notable number of boats failed to accomplish.

Mr Marshall said: “Everybody got involved with building the boat and lots of kids came to support us.”

The St Pius boat was dedicated to the memory of popular dinner lady, Veronica Toole, who died of pancreatic cancer in January.

The boat was painted purple – the colour of pancreatic cancer awareness – in Veronica’s honour, and the school has raised more than £200 by selling wristbands.

Event organiser and boat scrutineer, Derek “Admiral” Armstrong, said the turnout to the event was remarkable. He said: “It has been absolutely fantastic. We couldn’t have wished for better weather. The creativity of some of the boats has been marvellous.”

Zoe Shorrock, 29, from Blackburn and a group of friends got around the course in Yellow Submarine, recording a time of three minutes 51 seconds.

Each entry paid a registration fee to raise money for the Calvert Trust, a charity that provides adventure holidays in the Lake District for people with disabilities.

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