Paddles clashed against the water. Shrills of excitement roared through Sand Creek Country Club. This was the ninth annual Sand Creek Cardboard Boat Regatta, and the race was officially on.
Members of the Chesterton country club participated in the boat races, and children picked the design structures and swam in the boats. Boats came in all shapes and sizes, some with paddles, some without. Food and Beverage Operations Manager Kenny Furness had a twinkle in his eye when he spoke about the event’s energy.
“The excitement of the kids coming together and working on a boat makes this fun for me,” he said. “When you’re racing in the boat, everyone is cheering for you on the sidelines. The kids are the focal point of this event.”
Avery Tegt, a nine-year-old participant, built a boat with her brother Camden. Tegt admitted that she bosses her younger brother around, but were able to put aside their differences in coming together to build their structure. The boat was simply named “Awesome” and a large “A” was displayed from the hull.
“I’ve never won in four years, and that is why I really wanted to win today,” she said. “I always go boating with my family and I really enjoy boat racing. I knew today was going to be fun.”
Tegt’s eyes lit up when she talked about her competitive nature.
“I’m just a competitive person in general.” she said. “When I am with my brother in the car, we always have a race to see who can put our seatbelt on faster. I really want to win.”
Her boat capsized in the first heat, but she still kept a smile on her face throughout the evening. Furness said he knew what the event meant to the community and the children.
“Today was the kids’ time to shine,” he said. “It is all about the kids having fun with this, and it looks like they did.”