A father and son team opted to join forces and participate in the annual cardboard boat race during Saturday’s seventh annual Shoal Creek Water Festival event, held at the Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center.
“This is our second year participating in the race,” said Jesse Metcalfe, of Carthage.
The name of the boat that Jesse and his son, Alex, entered was “Ducky II.”
“Ducky I was a very large boat. We had four people in it, we should have had more,” Jesse said. “It didn’t want to move very fast. So this year, we split into two teams, much smaller boats. Ducky II is all cardboard, has a couple of paper tubes on it, painted with water based yellow paint. Hopefully, it will stay on long enough to keep the boat from sinking.”
Jesse said Ducky I finished last year.
“It made it across the finish line, and it was bone dry on the inside,” he added. “But it was as slow as a barge.”
Boats in the race could only be made up of cardboard and paper, and could not be any kind of specially-treated cardboard or waxed cardboard. They are allowed to use duct tape and Liquid Nails as their fasteners.
Jesse said they didn’t practice beforehand.
“This is the first time that we put in the water because these boats if they are not done right — you test them, — the water gets in, then it is gone,” he said. “So basically, we are going to put in for the first time [Saturday] and we are going to see what it does.”
Another cardboard boat racer was done by a group from Joplin.
“This is actually a group of us that built this, the Joplin Area Business Club, it is a group of about 40 plus business owners that meet Wednesday mornings at 7:30 a.m. at Granny Shaffer’s,” said Eric Hedman, a member of the group. “This is something that we like to do.”
The business club’s entry resembled the famous “Yellow Submarine,” immortalized in a song by the Beatles.
“[Working on the boat] took a lot of work, a lot of nights, right after work, we would go,” said Eric.
Eric said there were a few people from the club that would come and help build the boat. His wife, Caley, also helped.
“I just wanted to paint,” she said. “As far as assembly, we were gluing cardboard together. We just followed instructions and they came out really well.”
“In Joplin, we get 90 percent of our drinking water from Shoal Creek,” said Kerstin Landwer, development and volunteer associate, Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center. “So it is really important that we share with folks just what that water does for us as a community, and how it affects our well being through the health of the water. So primarily, this is an educational event so people can really understand how their actions affect water that they drink.”
Jesse agrees with the water fest.
“I think that it is pretty important because it brings a lot of attention to the center down here, let you know what kind of resources, recreational areas that we have available in this area,” Jesse said.