BEACON FALLS — The town’s inaugural Cardboard Boat Regatta pushed off from being a dream to a reality last Saturday.
The race, which took place on Carrington Pond at Matthies Park, featured only two boats: a barge-style boat built and manned by Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Joe Rodorigo and commission member Dominick Sorrentino and a catamaran-style boat called the S.S. M-Gram piloted by Joyce Krenesky and her granddaughter Micaela Guerra.
While there were only two entries this year Sorrentino, who organized the race, hoped the fact that it took place at all will draw more people next year.
“Hopefully we’ll have four boats next year and then more the year after that,” Sorrentino said.
Rodorigo felt part of the problem was that there was only about a month to build a boat and enter the race.
“I think the people coming out to spectate are fantastic. Obviously it’s an idea people were interested in. I would like to have seen a couple more entries, but it was a limited amount of time to get it done. But I am happy we have the entries and I’m looking forward to the event,” said Rodorigo, before the race.
The racecourse ran from the concrete dock on Carrington Pond past the second aerator and back, a journey of approximately 1,000 feet.
When they started off both boats surprised the crowd of about two dozen on the shore by not sinking immediately. Rodorigo and Sorrentino took an early lead in the race as Guerra and Krenesky had a hard time finding their sea legs. However, by the middle of the race, Guerra and Krenesky had caught up and took the lead.
Rodorigo and Sorrentino couldn’t keep up and ultimately sank a few hundred feet off of shore.
“We held our own for a little while, but youth and better shape won out over two fat guys in a cardboard boat,” Rodorigo said.
Although he didn’t make it to shore this year, Rodorigo is already planning his design for the next race.
“The barge type was too wide and was hard to row, so we’ve got to go a little narrower next year,” Rodrigo said.
Guerra was also planning on coming back and racing next year.
“You bet I am because that boat was amazing,” Guerra said.
This was fun. The challenge is out for more participants next year. Let your imagination go wild and design the boat of your dreams. See you on the pond next year.
The crew and boat-builders of the SS M-Gram.