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On July 19th, the waterfront at Portland’s Eastern Promenade was transformed by a boat building frenzy, as 18 cardboard boats took shape and set sail at Compass Project’s First Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta and Waterfront Festival. Nearly 100 boat builders followed patterns for basic boat construction and then added their own flair to the design. PierVantage’s boat was festooned with tropical flowers and flamingos; Sabre Yachts created a lobster boat helmed by an all crustacean crew; The Gulf of Maine Research Institute created two boats, The Codfather and Costa Cardboardia, and came dressed to impress. Teams were serenaded by The Faulkingham Project and Jerks of Grass and fed by Small Axe Food Truck. Assisted by the Compass Project staff and our renowned horde of volunteers, all the teams were ready to race by 12:30.

With a committee boat anchored offshore, teams lined up on East End Beach. At the word “go” they sprinted for the water. Getting aboard the boats proved quite a challenge, but most of the two-paddler teams made it onto the course. As the crowd of more than 100 spectators cheered, the teams rounded the committee boat and made for the beach. Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s Costa Cardboardia finished first in the corporate division; The Disco Ninjas finished first in the youth/family division. Team Spurwink won for Most Dramatic Sinking; Sabre Yachts won for best design/costumes.

Many thanks to our sponsors Maine Boats Homes and Harbors Magazine, IDEXX, ASAP Taxi, Southern Maine Medical, PierVantage, Actuarial Design Solutions, CBRE Boulos Asset Management, Hodgdon Yachts, Cabella Waste, Portland Paddle, CW Hayden and Volk Packaging for their generous support.

Click here for more photos of this wonderful day!

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