It's a bright sunny day in April.
The saws are buzzing, the kids are laughing, the drills are whining, the smell of sawdust is in the air. Pretty soon, boats will be carried to the water, the starter will sound, and the paddles will hit the water with gusto. It's the April Tools Wooden Boat Challenge.
Each year, the Pender Harbour Living Heritage Society puts on this special family-oriented event. It includes not only the boat building and racing for adults but also mini-boat building for kids, high school student races and a barbecue hosted by the Pender Harbour Rotary Club. This year, the community club offers breakfast on a bun, coffee and juice for the early birds starting at 8:30 a.m. at Seafarer Millennium Park. There will also be a variety of wooden boats on hand for people to look at or try out. The twist this year is that all teams (maximum of four people) must include at least one person of the opposite sex and both genders must be represented among the paddlers/rowers.
As usual, builders have three hours to create a boat from materials provided, using hand tools only. Cash prizes this year will be: $700 for first place, $400 for second and $250 for third. As well, there will be the Spiffy Skiffy prize (People's Choice award) for the best looking boat and the Broken Paddle award for the team or individual showing the greatest perseverance in the face of adversity. It all takes place at Seafarer Millennium Park (at the government dock) in Madeira Park.
Entry fee is $160 per team (that includes boat building materials, T-shirts for all team members and a one-year membership in the Pender Harbour Living Heritage Society). Deadline for entries is April 22.
For an entry form and more information, call Richard or Jackie at 604-883-0539.