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Riverhead chief Sean Walter wins leaders’ cardboard boat race

Participants paddle during the Fourth Annual Riverhead Cardboard

Participants paddle during the Fourth Annual Riverhead Cardboard Boat Race. (June 29, 2013) Credit: Ed Betz

Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter, paddling furiously, pulled up to the dock Saturday in his duct-taped silver boat to win the title of King of the Peconic River in his town’s fourth annual cardboard boat race.

Just 14 seconds behind him, Southampton Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst — who won the title from Walter last year — came both up to the dock and down into the Peconic River simultaneously, the rear end of her red cardboard boat sinking quickly as she approached the finish line.

“With every little wave, she took on water,” Walter said. “As she rounded the buoy, she poured on the speed. Her boat was one-third the size of mine. I hit dock, and she sank right there.

The race, held behind the stores on East Main Street in downtown Riverhead, has become a summer tradition, drawing thousands of people and dozens of contestants vying for trophies in a youth regatta, single and doubles paddling, pontoon boats, best-themed boats, most creative boats and the best-looking Vogue Award. 

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