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Saturday, February 23 , 2019, 1:21 pm | Fair 57º


To Delight of Spectators, Kardboard Kayak Racers Make a Splash at West Beach

Annual Santa Barbara Maritime Museum competition puts out to sea and back — if they’re lucky

A flotilla of intrepid sailors takes to the sea as part of the ninth annual Kardboard Kayak Races at Santa Barbara’s West Beach on Saturday. Click to view larger
A flotilla of intrepid sailors takes to the sea as part of the ninth annual Kardboard Kayak Races at Santa Barbara’s West Beach on Saturday. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

The waves at Santa Barbara’s West Beach were too much for some of the homemade vessels trying to forge the waters Saturday afternoon.

Other boats crafted with cardboard and duct tape fared better during the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum’s ninth annual Kardboard Kayak Race.

Spectators descended on the beach waiting for a glimpse of the action at the harbor, where dozens of teams of four competed for prizes in the annual event sponsored by Condor Express.

Paying participants were allotted one hour to build a seaworthy kayak from two sheets of cardboard, one roll of tape, a marker, utility knife and a yardstick.

They used the markers to pen the name of the kayak alongside it, including the “Kraken” and “Sooner or Later.”

Hilarity ensued when teams raced each other in separate heats, attempting to paddle out to a buoy and back.

Parents helped youngsters find a life jacket and a paddle before sending them off into the water, where some boats met their maker upon impact. More experienced adults battled in a more skilled competitor category.

The audience was in stitches watching youth in the family fun heats, applauding when two young boys kept paddling to the end — even when their entire cardboard kayak was under water.

“We got it!” one yelled. “We got last place!”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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