A team of students from the College of Engineering raced against a cardboard Titanic Saturday, April 20 for the Second Mid-Missouri Cardboard Regatta
Float Your Boat for the Food Bank, sponsored by the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
Civil engineering majors Paige Martz and Levi Knipmeyer, along with mechanical engineering major Kevin Coleman raced a Santa Fe railroad-themed boat made of cardboard and duct tape. See how they did below.
The team name for the engineering students this year was Choo Choo Train. They designed their boat after the 1960 Electro-Motive Diesel Streamliner named Santa Fe.
The second annual cardboard regatta race took place at Bass Pro Lake after increased popularity doubled the number of boats entered in the race from 20 boats last year, to 46. The new location also allowed for a longer, more competitive route.
Kevin Coleman, a mechanical engineering student, put on a life vest right before their team’s heat. He was one of the three members of the team who rode in their cardboard vessel.
Paige Martz, a civil engineering student, and Levi Knipmeyer, also a civil engineering student, were also on board the Santa Fe.
Next year the team plans to make their boat a lot larger so it can fit more people into it. “The more people you have in the boat (paddling) the faster you go,” said team captain Levi Knipmeyer.
The Santa Fe took five and half hours to construct, using only cardboard, duct tape, paint, and construction adhesive. All the materials and entry fee cost the team around $100, and they’ll be looking for alternative financing options for the fall.
Judges make their marks at the halfway point of the race on the judging dock.
Choo Choo Train struggled with the Titanic in the beginning of the race, but were surpassed about a quarter of the way into the route.
While chugging along, at first, the boat began to lose steam.
At almost the halfway mark in the race, the Santa Fe began to sink starting in the back and making its way to the front, swallowing Kevin Coleman last.
The Santa Fe’s “bow” rises out of the water before all three occupants slide into the water.
The team climbed to the judging dock as their boat crumpled and sank.
Team captain Levi Knipmeyer lost one of his sandals in the water, but the Santa Fe safeguarded it. Even though team Choo Choo Train lost in the time category against the Titanic, they still won the Titantic Prize for Best Sinking.
All boats usually end up in the dumpsters immediately after the race. Most don’t enter seeking glory, as team member Josh Garton said, “We like building things, and this seemed like a fun quirky project that wouldn’t take an entire semester of commitment like a competition team would. And it supports charity.” This year the race raised over $17,000 for the Central Missouri Food Bank, making them the biggest winner of the day.