Aylesbury BOX Company | Cardboard Boat Races
Corrugated cardboard is widely used to transport goods, but on a few days of the year, cardboard can also be found transporting people on the water in novelty boat races.
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Cardboard Boat Races


Cardboard Boat Races

Corrugated cardboard is a resilient material; strong, insulating and cushioning. It is widely used to transport goods, but on a few days of the year, cardboard can also be found transporting people on the water. The time to sign up for novelty boat races is approaching!

The Boat Race and Cardboard Boat Races

At the start of April, the Oxford & Cambridge Boat Races returned to the Thames for their 167th event. This year, Oxford won the men’s race, helped by the fact that 5 of the 8 rowers were Olympians. Cambridge won the women’s race, with 3 Olympic rowers on the crew.

This race is clearly for the sporting elite, but even if you’ve never held a paddle before, there are opportunities to participate in a boat race. To add to the challenge, why not make it a cardboard boat race?

Every summer, Cambridge University students hold an alternative boat race. Each team builds their vessel from cardboard and rows it down the River Cam. This event is only open to entries from students, but, if you are keen to put your cardboard engineering skills to the test, we know of two events for 2022.

Cardboard Pirate Ships

Bideford Rotary are experienced organisers and hosts of the annual Water Festival. This themed event is popular with local residents, businesses and Devon tourists. Bad weather caused the event to be postponed last year, but if all goes to plan, cardboard boats will set sail on Sunday 24 July 2022. This year’s theme is Pirates with teams encouraged to decorate their boats and get into fancy dress for the occasion.

A local packaging company supplies cardboard sheets to participants, but it is up to the teams to come up with a winning design and decoration. If you are going along to support the event, you are encouraged to get into the spirit of things with fancy dress. Bideford Rotary use the money raised from the cardboard boat race to support local charity organisations in Devon.

For further information and entry forms, visit the event website.

Hospice Charity Cardboard Boat Race

St Gemma’s Hospice is also hosting a charity fundraiser this year. This event takes place in Leeds Dock on Saturday 30 July and family groups, friends and corporate teams are being encouraged to sign up. Registration opens in May, with cardboard (and duct tape on joins) being the only permitted construction materials.

Winning categories include Best Boat Design, First Boat to Cross the Finishing Line Afloat and Most Impressive Sinking Vessel. Further information and entry forms can be found on St Gemma’s Hospice website.

Cardboard Boat Inspiration

Will you be creating a Galleon, Catamaran or Yacht? Maybe a simple Canoe, Tub or Raft is the way to stay afloat? If you are considering taking part in one of these events, there is plenty of online inspiration for your cardboard vessel.

To kick things off, check out the images from an Easter 2022 cardboard boat race that took place in Cape Coral. They illustrate the versatility of corrugated cardboard and what is possible with a bit of creativity and cardboard engineering.

Cardboard Engineering

The same versatility and creativity can be applied to packaging design. If your brand is looking for something other than a standard cardboard box, get in touch with the team at Aylesbury Box Company on 01296 436888 or enquiries@abcbox.co.uk. Share your idea and we will apply our cardboard engineering skills to come up with a bespoke packaging solution.

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