BELFAST, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Hundreds of people packed the shoreline of Belfast Harbor for cardboard boat races Sunday.
It was the last, and perhaps most unique part, of their 5th annual weekend-long Harbor Fest.
The family-fun event was a hit for racers of all ages — doing all they could to stay afloat and make it to the finish line.
“It was awesome,” first-place finisher Rowan Gelberhiggins said.
Most of the boats were a makeshift construction of recycled cardboard, duct tape and paint. Participants were required to adhere to strict guidelines.
Gelberhiggins’s grandfather, Peter Higgins, took three weeks to craft his family’s boats.
"On and off. You have to wait for the paint to dry and glue to go off and that sort of stuff,” Peter Higgins said.
Second-place finisher Andre Dorriti had a unique boat design he said was fueled by his passion to be an engineer. He said his set back was due to weather conditions.
“Maybe the wind and maybe the fact that I was trying to steer as close to the buoy as possible,” Dorriti said.
Serious competition aside, the event is about good old fun.
“We found that it brings lots of people out who wouldn't come for any other reason than to watch the cardboard boats, although I'm sure about a third of them come just to watch if someone sinks,” Belfast Rotary Club’s Duke Marston said.
Marston is the chair of the event and says that it aims to be a great tradition for Belfast.
“Harbor Fest is yes, to raise money for our charities, but we feel that Belfast benefits from this kind of event,” Marston said.