Part of the Ocean Village social calendar since 2009, the Cardboard Boat Race mixes ingenuity with creativity; would-be sailors brave the waters in a 1000 meter race in their own home-made cardboard boats, set against the backdrop of moored yachts in Ocean Village Marina. Nails, staples, wood and fibreglass are all strictly banned – so building the boat is as much of a challenge as navigating it. Seaworthiness isn’t the only challenge, as competitors must also create a craft that will catch the judge’s eye. There are always great designs on display; from pirates and vikings to dragon boats, space shuttles and fighter planes.
The Ocean Village Venue has made the Cardboard Boat Race the attraction it is today, but the race was originally started over 30 years ago by Peter Guy and the RAOB. It has risen to prominence in the past five years, breaking records in both spectator support and participation; with 2013’s event drawing double the number of crafts than the year before. Millions have already been exposed to the event when Channel 5 filmed the 2013 race as part of their “Britain in the sun” documentary series and this year GBC will be filming the crews as they work from conception to construction and race. The growing trend looks to be continuing for this year’s event, held on Saturday 23rd August 2014.
Don’t let the word “Race” fool you, the awards are just as creative as the event; while there may be a 1st place trophy for senior and youth entries. There’s also fun trophies such as “Best Titanic Sinking” “Best Fancy Dress” and “Best Boat Design” to name a few. Though if you doubt your building ability and want to avoid the drink, there’s plenty to do for spectators. A Family Fun Day is planned with a bouncy castle, raffle, live music and live commentary on the race as well as all the great weekend activities on offer in Ocean Village, with plenty of fantastic vantage points to catch the action, follow the winners and spot the swimmers.
Proceeds from The Cardboard Boat Race are always used for a number of worthy causes, this year’s race will raise money for the Prostate Cancer Support Group as well as the GBC open day and with more attendance than ever, it promises to be a great boon to the charity. Sandra Lamplough, last year’s host, said this about the event; “Every year we attract a healthy list of entrants keen to take on the 1,000 meter course, and an equally healthy crowd eager to cheer them on – and have a laugh at their soggy sinking expense. It’s a simple and slightly comical event, but it has captured Gibraltar’s imagination and competitive spirit”. So whether you’re looking to compete, cheer or just enjoy a Saturday with the family. Visit Ocean Village on Saturday 23rd August 2014 for the sixth annual event.