The Osprey Yacht Club (OYC) once again sponsored the popular cardboard boat race on August 16th at the Albemarle Plantation Marina. Six teams built boats to ply the waters of Yeopim Creek, or at least the Marina, and pickers of the short straw on each team skippered their boat. Arlene and Terry Tesmer organized the event and took pity on the participants by relaxing the rules slightly this year. In addition to cardboard and duct tape, the teams were allowed to use glue, caulk, and paint on the boat bottom. Arlene can also be credited with creating the six prize categories and obtaining generous donations of wine gift certificates and an OYC shirt.

The cardboard naval architects dragged their seaworthy crafts, accompanied by their designated skipper, to the floating platform by the sunfish sailboats on the A-Dock. The racecourse was thankfully one-way to the fuel dock, since it is doubtful that any of the skippers, to say nothing about the boats, would have been able to make the 250-yard return trip.

The first boat to start was PT-109 with Skipper Lee Fortier. The boat truly was a beautiful scale replica of PT-109 with over 100 hours of work designing and building it. Regretfully, Lee withdrew from the race after three attempts to cross the starting line. Lee received the Gilligan Award for the “Boat Most Likely to Leave You Stranded.” For the next race, Lee is considering modifying the torpedo tubes to serve as outriggers for much-needed roll stability.

The second boat was Aloha, built by Terry and Arlene Tesmer, Charlie Pencinger, and Skipper Tom Sheys. There was insufficient mid-ship stiffening, as a crease appeared when Tom seated himself. Although he paddled at an amazing pace, Tom only made it halfway through the course before he became a burger in an Aloha-bun. Never fear, the life vest kept Tom afloat, but the timing was discontinued at 12.5 minutes. Tom did, however, manage to paddle the now “submarine” to the fuel dock. For his efforts, Tom accepted the Titanic Award from OYC Flag Officer Bruce Behrend for the “Most Spectacular Sinking.”

The third boat on the course was Greased Lightning with the husband and wife team of Nancy and Bob Escheman—otherwise known as Sandy and Danny of “Grease” fame. Both are skilled kayakers, but Nancy “allowed” Bob to be the paddler. For their efforts, they received the Commodore’s Award for the “Most Creative Team and Boat.” Kudos to Bob for his black leather jacket and ducktail and to Nancy for her poodle skirt.

Starting the second half of boats, and in keeping with a happen-stance 1950’s/60’s theme, was the Yeopim Rocket, built single-handedly by Tom Lampley. Interestingly, the rocket was based on his childhood drawings of the Space Shuttle launcher with boosters strapped to either side. Tom resembled Dr. Strangelove as he straddled the rocket while paddling strongly through the first half of the course. However, it appeared that one of his boosters might have flamed out as his time advantage quickly faded. For Tom’s efforts, the Yoepim Rocket was named “Pride of the Fleet.”

Vessel number five, appropriately named Coyote Ugly and loosely resembling a catamaran, was built by Fred Schenker and Tom Klucick. Captain Tom, a Lance Armstrong look-alike, had a strong and quick stroke. For his truly impressive efforts, Tom and Coyote Ugly were awarded “Fastest Time.”

The final entrant was the USS Emma Rae designed and built by 10-year old Emma Klein, with minor assistance from her mom Jennette and oversight by grandparents Gary and Peggy Kollmann. Emma, the youngest racer by a factor of 10, skippered her namesake boat/rocket equipped with winged keels. Although aiding the boat’s stability, the “wings” started to disintegrate and turned into high-drag keels, making it very difficult to paddle. Although it took about 12 minutes, Emma was a real trooper and finished the race. For her extraordinary efforts, Emma received the “OYC Spirit Award” from OYC Commodore Steve Harris.

After recovering their composure and regaining blood flow to their arms, the racers proudly took the podium to receive their medals and gift certificates and a well-deserved shirt for Emma.
As the cheers from the adoring throng faded and hors d’oeuvres and desserts filled tummies, it was obvious that a fun time was had by all, and the skippers were already thinking about their designs for the next race.

A big Thank You to the competitors, volunteers, and contributors who made the event a success!