SUMMERSIDE – About three months ago, G’Niyo Stuart and Brentwood Munroe came to Summerside from the Bahamas to attend a summer course at the Holland College Maritime Training Centre.
When their instructor told them about the 15th annual Cardboard Boat Races, part of the Summerside Lobster Festival, they knew they needed to join.
A lot of work and time went into the boat, said Stuart.
Saturday was the day of the big event, which drew hundreds of spectators to Spinnaker’s Landing.
Stuart and Munroe’s third time in the water really had the crowd cheering because the first two boats they raced against sank.
Munroe said it was a great feeling to hear everyone rooting them on.
“We feel like champions.”
He said they enjoy living in Summerside and it’s a nice transition from one island to the next.
“Our boat is called Island Pearl because we are from the island of Bahamas.”
Island Pearl was going strong before being taken out of the competition by S.S. Supreme.
The crew of S.S. Supreme — Lance Ellsworth and Kyle Cameron — wowed spectators, making the race look effortless as they went on to win the annual event, even beating out last year’s champions, No Sunken Way II, in the final race.
Summerside Supreme Seafood sponsored S.S. Supreme, and Ellsworth said it was a great experience.
“It was fun and that’s the main thing,” he said, adding he would love to be involved again next year.
Cameron said the last race was close.
“It was a good hustle. I was nervous because they had some tight turns, but we took it home.”
He encouraged others to get involved, adding that it’s an exciting time.
“They can come try to take us next year.”
Besides first place, other awards were given out to the Full Monty, sponsored by 53 Air Cadet Squadron, for most enthusiastic entry. Spotlight Theatre Company’s boat, Spotlight Sally, won for most creative, and the fastest sinker award went to S.S. Dusters, sponsored by Greco Pizza.
The Cardboard Boat Race was one of the last events of the 59th annual Summerside Lobster Festival.
Don Quarles, executive director for the destival, said the events this year were a success.
“The parade was fantastic. There was great attendance and some creative floats.”
Quarles was also pleased with how the cardboard boat races went.
“The races were phenomenal as usual. There were some surprises like always and I was impressed with the creativity.”
He’s interested in getting feedback from the community about this year’s festival to know what worked and what could be improved.