Teams ready to sink or swim at NC Cardboard Boat Championships


LAKE WACCAMAW, NC (WWAY) — A boat race of a different kind is happening tomorrow at Lake Waccamaw. The event shows all sorts of ships will sail even if you don’t think they can hold water.

For some it leads to a smile. While it leaves others with a sinking feeling.

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Either way the North Carolina Cardboard Boat Championships at Lake Waccamaw are high on entertainment value.

“It is pretty funny,” contestant Jonathan Medford said. “It’s not only a challenge to build a boat, but it’s a challenge to get in the boat, much less paddle it around.”

Contestants from around the state will compete to see who can best combine cardboard, duct tape and paint to boats that are limited only by builder’s imagination.

“If you have four or five adults in a Noah’s Ark type of ship built by a church, to watch that boat sink and to watch them try to maneuver that boat around the lake, it’s really funny,” said Coburn Powell, president of the Whiteville Rotary Club, which hosts the event.

With all of the hard work that goes into building the ships, the competition can get kind of cutthroat. However, after it’s all said and done, each and every competitor enjoys the spoils of victory.

“Last year my boat actually sank, but we won the award for the most spectacular sinking, which I think is the most important award we have out here,” Medford said. “It’s great for the whole family. At one point I just kind of looked around at the crowd and saw the biggest smile on everybody’s face. That’s what the event is about. It’s about having fun.”

The Cardboard Boat Championships start at noon at the Lake Waccamaw Sailing Club.

The Whiteville Rotary Club will donate all proceeds from the event to charities around Columbus County.