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Staying afloat -- sort of





ELLIS -- It was a beautiful day for boating -- cardboard boating, that is. The second annual cardboard boat races took place Friday at Ellis Municipal Pool.

Sponsored by the Ellis Recreation Commission, seven teams of two gathered cardboard and duct tape to craft a boat that will not only float, but float across the pool while carrying two kids. The only requirement -- all parts must be made of cardboard and secured with duct tape.

"From paddles to steer to the body of the boat, everything has to be made out of cardboard," said Emily Cox, event organizer. "It's a matter of how you design it. If you walk on the cardboard, it weakens it. The fewer seams, the better."

The maximum length is 10 feet. The largest boats were 6 to 8 feet, and the smallest was 4 feet. The youngest boat captains have been in preschool, while the oldest have been in fourth grade.

"The parents help design the boats, but only the kids are in the boat," Cox said. "Last year, we had a couple youngsters who decorated their boat as a dog, and they just kept going in circles in the pool. That was funny."

Several boats capsized, but not Ty Patee, 13, who won the first round.

In his second year competing, he put multiple layers of cardboard on the bottom of the boat to slow water absorption.

"I always knew I was going to win," he said. "It's fun to make it across to the other side."