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News arrow Opinion arrow Columns arrow Off the Beat: I will be the one to beat at next year’s cardboard boat races

Off the Beat: I will be the one to beat at next year’s cardboard boat races Print E-mail
Written by Jane Stebbins, Pilot staff writer   
May 29, 2013 01:07 am

After watching the premiere Cardboard Boat Races at the Port of Brookings Harbor last weekend, I was filled with envy topped with a serious dollop of regret.

As the water-logged cardboard watercraft “crossed” the finish line, I thought, I could have done this! And won!

Although I don’t really know the — you know, “official” — parts of a boat, I know there is “left” and “starboard,” “bow” and “spit.” Or something.

With that knowledge, I will build one! And I will beat this year’s top contenders: Viking Wanna-Be, “Sattelite-Thingy Ethan” and “Pizza Slice!”

The ingredients are easy enough: cardboard, duct tape and a paddle. I have all three; they’re in my Tsunami Go Kit, in case,  during a tsunami, someone challenges me to a boat race.

“Be prepared for anything in a tsunami” is my motto.

I have learned everything I need to know about cardboard boating from this year’s participants. They had plenty to teach me!

I will “bend” my cardboard — that’s the technical word — to craft the place where the “sides” of the boat and the “floor” meet. Then I will put more layers of cardboard in that “part of the boat where you sit.” I will put many layers on the “bottom outside” of the boat, to help it float.

I will wear my good luck socks.

Ah, yes, I am well versed in the world of boats.

I have fished in a dinghy along the Intracoastal Waterway in Florida. I have battled high winds in a 14-foot sailboat on a lake in Washington, where we didn’t “tip over” until we got to “land.” I rowed Every. Single. Day. for years in the “2” seat of a “scull,” training for the Olympics. I have the medals to prove it! And the shoulder surgery receipts!

I have plunged from the “backs” of numerous boats to go scuba diving.

I once glued together a bunch of balsa wood into the shape, sort of, of a mighty schooner! I know which tub-toys are best in the high seas of bubble bath! I don’t get seasick!

My friend Susanna and her husband sail a boat up and down the Pacific Ocean every year. They send me emails to let me know they are doing such boat things as “mooring” and “tacking” to get around a “shoal.” They travel in “nautical miles” at “nautical miles per fathom,” or something like that! Sometimes they go “aloft” to repair the “rigging,” which must be rough work, as her husband lost a few fingers doing that.

They “fetch” and “ready about” and “sail the oceans blue.”

I have watched a few sailing regattas — Dennis Connor, “Mr. America’s Cup,” lived across the street from my dad!

I know my boats! And if the above-stated resume doesn’t point that out, I don’t know what will!

I could easily win this small-port event!

I will win, not because of my boating expertise, however, but because I have attitude. A courageous, confident attitude, which is needed on the “high seas.” Some people have called me “sassy.” Others have called me “brave.” Many have called me things I can’t print in a family newspaper, but I know they are in my corner. They’ve got my six, as they say.

I know I can do it! 

I will be out to kick some Cardboard Butt.

Watch out, Pizza Slice. Watch out.

 

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