Greenfield Recreation Department hosts first town cardboard regatta

  • Greenfield community members stand beside their makeshift boats holding their awards at this year’s cardboard regatta. From left are Naudia Billodeau, Vivien Billodeau, Jack Billodeau, Ava Dominguez, Hannah Dominguez, Lola Vangemert, Emma Vangemert and Joe Mercadante. —STAFF PHOTO BY JOSH LACAILLADE

  • Lola and Emma Vangemert sit inside their boat designed as a chocolate milk carton, which won the award for most-creative. —STAFF PHOTO BY JOSH LACAILLADE

  • Joe Mercadante of Greenfield receives the award for fastest boat at this year’s cardboard regatta. —STAFF PHOTO BY JOSH LACAILLADE

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 8/15/2022 11:33:16 AM
Modified: 8/15/2022 11:29:48 AM

Greenfield residents hit the lake Saturday to showcase their creations during the first cardboard regatta in town history.

Community members lined the shores at Sunset Lake to compete in a cardboard regatta sponsored by Greenfield Recreation Department. The waves were gentle and calm, the wind was quiet and the bright August sun provided the contestants a perfect day for sailing. 

The rules were simple – contestants had to paddle out to the dock and return back to shore in their homemade boats made up of only duct tape and corrugated cardboard. The boats had to remain intact the entire race to qualify for a prize. 

Just after 10 a.m., the boats undocked and child contestants in the first heat were off to the races. Lola and Emma Vangemert led the pack with their boat designed as a chocolate milk carton, while the Billodeau family trailed closely behind in their Disney princess-inspired boat. Joe Mercadante earned the fastest boat award. In the end, judges determined every contestant was a winner. From most-creative boat to “The Titanic” for sinking the fastest, all contestants walked away with an award. 

Event coordinator Tammy Lucke said the event was a complete success. 

“We have five boats. I think that’s a pretty good turnout for the first one,” said Lucke.

Lucke said she was inspired to host the event in Greenfield after attending the cardboard regatta in Leominister, Mass., in past years. To prepare, Lucke and Recreation Director Kayla Kokal had to receive approval from the Select Board, and participants were required to sign a release form for the town before the race could start. Contestants gathered for an official build day on Aug. 6 at Oak Park to prepare for Saturday’s event, but the majority of contestants needed a full week to prepare their vessels.

Kokal said she was happy to see the participants’ hard work pay off.

“I thought it was great and fun to watch,” said Kokal.

Emma Vangemert and her sister Lola won the award for the most-creative boat. She said she was thrilled to finally participate in a cardboard regatta after years of spectating.

“Today was chaotic. We spent the last week preparing for it. We are going to try to get a lot more people involved in the future, but I’ve gone to a lot of cardboard regattas in the past. It’s cool to actually be in them,” said Emma.


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