Scattered rain drops couldn’t dampen spirits at the 11th annual April Tools Wooden Boat Challenge in Pender Harbour on Saturday, April 28.
Teams set up tents over their building spaces, and gathered at 10 a.m. to hear about this year’s “twist” (actually twists) from one of the event organizers.
First, the building materials included no screws — just lots of string and duct tape plus the usual meagre bit of plywood, lots of plastic, and 1x2s.
Second, after leaving the starting line, each boat had to pick up and carry with it a large inflated beach ball. Boat, paddler(s), and still inflated ball had to cross the finish line together to qualify.
Before the adult races, five youth teams, who make their boats in the weeks leading up to the day with help from community volunteers, were in the spotlight.
In the first (the “serious” race), “Team Awesome” (Jake Snedden, Cody Edwardson , Luke Roose, and Carson Anderson ) captured the trophy, the “HydroPhobes (Khoya Craig, Liz Rowlands and Michael Parrot) came in second, and “3 1/2 Men” (Dustin Sigurdson, Matt Watts, Zach M.-F., and Hunter Edwardson) came in third.
In their second (fun?) race, the usual objective was achieved — everyone was in the water before it ended!
After two run-off heats for the adult teams, in which almost all teams stayed afloat, six of them progressed to the final race. The dynasty of the Garden Bay “Fireflies” (Bruno Cote, Kerry Rand, Dustin Ouellette and Ray Mirand) was finally broken, though they did come in third. Team “Great Hope” (Carl Brownstein and Iris Rich from Kamloops with local students Jake Snedden and Luke Roose) finished second, and Team “Bud 1” from Delta (Peter Motzek, Alex Kurenov, Norm Richards, and Scott Alexander) took home first prize.
All of this against the backdrop of constant hammering from the kiddies boat building corner, great smells from the Rotary dockside barbecue, and displays by the various museums/heritage groups on the Coast.
Now spring is officially here in Pender Harbour!