Cardboard Boat Race, Saturday, June 26

This year marks the 22nd Anniversary of the Cardboard Boat Races in Oxford, Maryland to be held on the shores of the Tred Avon River on Saturday, June 26th. Race Registration starts at 9:00 am and the races start at 11:00 am.  The first race will be in memory of Doug Hanks, Jr. and will feature the Smith Island Crab Skiffs which are the only gas powered boats to race for the day.  Following that the creative boat constructions made from corrugated press board will be tested for buoyancy.  Every year a few sink and the contestants swim to shore. The event is held along the Strand in shallow water so all contestants can push their sunken sodden creations around the course.  But with the crafty skills of some of the builders their exhibits of construction are most durable.  Some of the crafts have been racing for over five years.

The event is held to have fun and raise money for Special Olympics of Maryland, and awareness for the host of the event, the Oxford Pool Committee.  See: http://oxfordpool.org/boat_races.html.  Admission is free to the public.

The featured races are: Iron Man, the longest race course, Battle of the Brave, where last years winning entry from the Coast Guard will defend its honor against local police and firemen. These races will be followed by the Corporate Challenge where local businesses have sponsored a boat, to be followed by the only trophy-eligible entrants, the Funny Race, where crocodiles, corn husks, battleships, etc. all compete to finish a figure eight race in memory of Police Chief Wally Jones.  Chief Jones was an 18-year veteran to the Oxford Police force whose favorite charity was Special Olympics of Maryland.  The Kids Race, an all-parents favorite, where only the young not the young at heart, provide the mirth for the end of the races.

In past years this event was brought to you from the volunteers of Boat Bums International (BBI) whose generosity for being allowed on boats, which did not belong to them, extended to the Cardboard Boat Race.  As Chief Wally Jones mediated between two of Oxfords finest as to who was the better boat builder, he challenged that a boat could be built from old seafood boxes. The gauntlet that he threw was picked up and a course was set from the town parking lot on Town Creek to end at the waterfront restaurant off of Atlantic Avenue formerly known as Railroad Avenue, today known as South Morris Street.

Today this lively, colorful and locally beloved event is co-sponsored by the Town of Oxford and the Oxford Pool Committee.  The Committee brings awareness to the much needed necessity of a community swimming pool for Oxford, with the jelly fish rendering the waters surrounding Oxford a stinging reality during the hottest times of the year.  The Pool Committee hopes everyone will stop by the concessions during the race as one hopes not to be last in line for the good hamburgers and hot dogs cooked by Oxford Meat and Seafood or to miss a few scoops of the delicious ice cream from the Highland Creamery, both supporters of the Race day’s activities. All events are open to the public with plenty of viewing area along the Strand and free parking in town. Guests are reminded to obey the 25 mph speed limit while in Oxford.  For registration or information on official construction rules, please go online to SOMD.ORG or contact Skipper Marquess, Cardboard Boat Fleet Admiral, at (410)924-3212 or wmarques@bluecrab.org

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