May. 9, 2013
Buena Vista University's Office of Student Affairs and the Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC) will host the fifth "Beavers' Annual Great Boat Float Challenge" on Monday, May 13 at the Recreation Services House. The event was rescheduled after the original date was rained out.
The contest allows students, faculty and staff the chance put their homemade cardboard boats to the test as they attempt to paddle their way to victory. Typically the races coincide with Buenafication Day, but organizers had made the decision to cancel the races due to low lake water levels and other various problems in planning the event.
After hearing the races had been cancelled, Matt Schnoebelen, a senior computer science major from Clear Lake and OAC member, and other OAC students banded together to plan the event.
"Everyone involved in OAC is really dedicated to keeping the boat races a tradition at BVU," says Matt. "The boat races began only one year before many of us came to BVU as freshmen so we would hate for it to have died out before we left. It's an event that provides a great way for students to show their creativity and de-stress after classes."
The event will begin with registration at 4:45 p.m., and races starting at 5:15 p.m. The Office of Student Affairs and members of OAC will also be providing free hot dogs, chips, and cookies for spectators to enjoy before the races begin.
"OAC students understand how outdoor recreation activities contribute to their development and I'm proud that we can showcase one activity on the natural resources we have so close to campus," says Ellen Schiltz, director of recreation services at BVU.
The challenge facing race competitors is to build and successfully race a boat made primarily from corrugated cardboard and duct tape around a designated course. The use of quick-dry caulk, carpenter's wood glue, and a one-part paint or sealant are among the products allowed to aid structural integrity.
To encourage collaboration, boats that have at least one BVU student and one faculty or staff member on the crew will be given a 20-second bonus. Boats are eligible for awards celebrating creativity, speed, and the most dramatic sinking. There is also a "People's Choice Award" that allows spectators to vote on their favorite boat at the event.
Despite the concern of water levels, Matt says the lake is approximately three-feet deep where the races will take place.
"We took a canoe out recently to double-check the depth of the lake, and we didn't have any issues paddling where the boat races happen," says Matt. "Plus, with the recent snow and rainstorms that we have had, the water level has risen quite a bit since then. I'm hopeful that by the time we are ready to be out on the lake racing, the water levels will be nearly back to normal."
"The races are meant to bring the BVU community together at a place they can relax and enjoy themselves," adds Matt. "It's a great relief to know that the boat races will continue to be an annual event after we leave."
For more information about the Beavers' Annual Great Boat Float Challenge and to see photos and results of previous year's races, visit www.bvu.edu/boat.