my information

--- Issued Sept. 15, 2011

The Erie Housing Authority/YMCA Kids Club boat, “Watermelon” took second place for fastest time in the youth division in this year’s Second Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta.

"Watermelon" is shown above finishing the race.

The event was held Saturday, August 20, at the East Canal Basin at the Bayfront Maritime Center Campus, 40 Holland Street.

Richard Eisenberg, executive director of the Center and promoter of the event, said 32 boats raced in the youth, teen, and adult divisions, with more than 1,000 spectators on hand to cheer them on. Also competing was another cardboard boat from the JFK Center built by young Housing Authority residents.

According to the rules for the events, the boats had to be made of only cardboard, acrylic latex caulk, glue, and paint. (The paint is what makes the cardboard watertight, the same way it works on canvas canoes.)

“It’s sometimes hard enough to get the kids on the water at all, let alone in a cardboard box for a 300-yard race,” said the Authority’s John Horan. “This event was a wonderful Erie-type thing – a huge self-confidence builder that makes the kids feel comfortable on the water.”

"The boat building process taps into the creativity of our children, which is so important, but often overlooked, in the educational process," said. "With all the emphasis on math, science and achievement scores, it is imperative that we use every strategy to improve a child’s academic progression. Hands-on projects like boat building are proven academic tools."