Cardboard Boats Race in Manchester’s River Runner Regatta


Well, the third time was a charm.

The Maquoketa River in Manchester finally cooperated so that the Franklin Street Brewing Company could host its second annual River Runner Regatta. High river levels the prior two Saturdays kept postponing the event.

So, with five foot river levels and a CFS of 500, about a dozen homemade cardboard boats took their turns getting into the river and heading down the rapids of the Manchester Whitewater Park. One of the most eye-catching creations was an airplane-shaped boat called “The Miracle on the Maquoketa”.

That’s Steven Durey, who says his team spent one night a week for eight weeks working on the boat. And their work paid off – they won “The Battle of the Boats”, beating out the others in the group race at the end of the day.

A boat called “The Big Dinghy” took second place in the group race. Team captain Jessica Pape took it down the river with her brothers Brian and Tim Krogmann.

Brian says they didn’t have a strategy on staying dry.

But some of the boats didn’t float. Larry Mensen and his crew came up with a creative theme – costumes and all – so at least they had fun.

Mensen says they used two gallons of glue and seven rolls of duct tape, but it wasn’t quite enough to get them to the finish line.

All of participants we talked to say they plan to do the River Runner Regatta again next year.

Here’s a complete list of Saturday’s winners:

The Awesome Sauce Award – most awesome boat: The Miracle on the Maquoketa

The Red Carpet Award – best dressed team: Bus 10 Ass

The Titanic Award – most spectacular sinking: The Starship Enterprise

Two Person Division
1st place: Animal House (Jeff and Laurie Buchheit)
2nd place: Feargrounds Haunted Barn (Rick Radabaugh and Taz Kammiller)
3rd place: Hannah (Roger Lawrence)

Team Division
1st place: Miracle on the Maquoketa (Steve Durey, captain)
2nd place: SS Hopefully Floats (Mitch Wendling, captain)
3rd place: The Big Dinghy (Jessica Pape, captain)

Battle of the Boats Division
1st Place: Miracle on the Maquoketa
2nd Place: Big Dinghy
3rd Place: Animal House

(photos courtesy of Rob Edwards, KMCH and Hayleigh Ries)