Anchors aweigh for Cardboard Boat Challenge


The annual Cardboard Boat Challenge will take place during the Mermaid Festival this Saturday, Sept. 21, at 11:30 a.m. at Indian Beach. The Cardboard Boat Challenge is a Canyon Lake tradition that is an entertaining event for participants and spectators alike as boats constructed of cardboard and duct tape race on the lake for bragging rights and prizes.

All ages are welcome to enter. Participants under the age of 18 must have parental consent to participate. There will be a $10 entry fee for participants who sign up after Sept. 19.

Check-in time on the day of the race is between 9 and 10 a.m. Participants must attend a  pre-race meeting at 11 a.m. at the judges’ table. The race starts at 11:30 a.m.; the lineup will be determined at check-in.

Only duct tape and cardboard may be used to construct boats. No other materials, including paint, wax finish and printed materials, may be used. Boats may only be propelled by utilizing arms, hands, paddles, or oars. Legs and feet must be contained inside the boat at all times.

A $100 prize will be awarded to the first place adult finisher (age 16 and older). The first place youth finisher (under the age of 16) will receive $75. A $50 prize will be awarded to the winners of the Judges’ Choice and Best-Dressed Vessel.

The registration form and rules are posted on the Woman’s Club website at

Back in the 80s, the Cardboard Boat Challenge was referred to as the Milk Carton Boat Race. In recent years, the POA changed the name to Cardboard Boat Challenge and hosted it at Sunset Beach during Fiesta Day. When the POA canceled the event in 2015 due to a lack of volunteers, the Woman’s Club offered to take over the event the following year and host it during its annual Mermaid Festival.