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Long IslandSuffolk

Riverhead cardboard boat race sails out

Stefanie Costello, 15, of Calverton helps carry her

Stefanie Costello, 15, of Calverton helps carry her boat down to the starting dock for the race in Riverhead. (June 24, 2012) Photo Credit: Jacqueline Connor

Archimedes -- sleek, sturdy and painted white -- was the vision of nautical success as it made its way on the Peconic River. Nevermind that it was created entirely out of cardboard.

And while the third annual Great Riverhead Cardboard Boat Race Sunday had its share of sinking ships, a team of six Remsenburg boys behind the craft did not take any chances.

Daniel and Leeland Kua, both 13, Sam Santora, 13, Jay and Ian Oxman, both 14, and Jonah Holder, 11, built the boat at the Long Island Science Center using the Archimedes principle -- a mathematical calculation of buoyancy. But even with weeks of planning, a harmless crash on the water almost cost them first place.

"It was nerve-racking when we started," said Santora, one of the oarsmen. "But the most fun was winning at the end."

Archimedes was one of the several winners in downtown Riverhead this weekend. About 300 people attended the event, organized by the Riverhead Business Improvement District, to watch friends and neighbors steer their makeshift boats on the river.

Sailing vessels ranging from an intricate faux Titanic to a small box wrapped in duct tape, participants of all ages attempted to navigate the subtle current of the Peconic River.

Separate races were held for children and adults, as well as those who had fashioned pontoon-style boats. A race called The Grand National Regatta was held at the end, open to all boats and ages.

"It's a way to get the community together and see all downtown Riverhead has to offer," said Ed Densieski, 52, treasurer of the Riverhead agency. "It's been very successful."

Also on the water was Anna Throne-Holst, Southampton Town supervisor, who easily overtook her opponent, Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter, in their third race against each other.

"I challenge the other East End supervisors to join us next year," Throne-Holst said.

Not everyone with a boat came to win. West Hempstead resident Ginger Anderson said she spent 19 hours making her boat, Shelby, designed to look like an alligator from the History Channel's "Swamp People."

Before competing in the final regatta, she predicted that her sturdy boat wouldn't make it: "I think I'm going down, going swimming."

Shelby -- and Anderson -- made it to shore with no problem.


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