It’s sink or swim for cardboard boaters in SL

SARANAC LAKE – The first ever Corrugated Cup Cardboard Boat race was a success, even if most of the boats sank before crossing the finish line.

The event, which was held on Saturday morning at Lake Flower, saw about 10 boats made only of cardboard and duct tape hit the water as a fundraiser for the Northern Forest Explorer’s program. The program takes kids on week-long canoe trips.

Reuben Bernstein and Adrian Hayden were the first ones across the finish line in a boat that was called either the Reubian or the Bluester. There was much discussion among the 50 or so spectators as to whether the boat resembled a blue bird or a rooster.

“It was kind of luck that we got to drive this boat,” Hayden said. “Jim Sausville and Jason (Smith) built it last night. So they asked me if I wanted to pilot it, and I said ‘Sure, why not?'”

Sarah Curtis was the first across the line in a single boat. The multi-pilot boats started first and then the singles started a minute later.

Curtis’ boat Freedom handled well in the water, and she easily crossed the line as only the second boat to finish.

“I have been wanting to do this for years,” Curtis said. “So this is the first time Saranac Lake has ever done it, and as soon as I found out about the event I was over the moon excited and I started building my boat right away.”

Curtis is a regular paddler, and has completed the 90 Miler boat race before. She was relieved to find out her craft proved seaworthy.

“I had no idea because this is the first time I put it in the water, but it was a dream. It floated perfectly, I could turn it,” Curtis said. “It’s not the fastest boat because it’s a little wide and short, but stability is what I was going for, and I achieved that. I am thrilled.”

Awards were given out after the race. Bernstein and Hayden won first, with Curtis in second and Dellice Chase came in third in her boat the SS Box.

Kaylen Reily and Stashu Wojciechowski won the award for best sinking, while Ruby Smith and Sophia Kelting won for best team spirit. Griff Smith, Nicholas Kelting and Camden Reily’s boat Three Men in a Boat won for most duct tape. Brandee Reily, Maria Wojciechowski and Gosha Wojciechowski took home the prize for best swim.

The corrugated cup was hosted by Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters and sponsored by the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and the Village of Saranac Lake.