There’s Still Time Left to Rock the Boat  — A Cardboard Boat, That Is

Samantha Haines and Riki McDaniel in their cardboard boat, the Tofu Eater
Last year's Rec Recycle Regatta competition had just one participating team. The cardboard boat, dubbed the Tofu Eater, was able to make it the length of the pool before it capsized.

One of Drexel’s annual — and wackiest — traditions will embark this weekend and there’s still time for students to put in an oar.

The recreational activity will be hosted in the Daskalakis Athletic Center (DAC)’s pool but there’s no swimming requirement (or any athletic skill) necessary. And the event might require some basic engineering knowledge — or, at the very least, the ability to think quickly and build a vessel that floats. 

Just what is this tradition? Well, the Rec Recycle Regatta, of course!

First started in 2009, the Rec Recycle Regatta is a battle of wits, physics and time in which crafty Drexel students build a boat out of tape and cardboard that can carry the weight of all team members as far as possible across an 82-foot-long pool before sinking. It’s safe to say that the yearly competition is unlike anything else offered on campus — though that’s hardly surprising.

“The Rec Recycle Regatta really is a unique event,” said Dylan Volpintesta, coordinator of intramural sports in the Department of Athletics. “It’s a way for students to try something new that they don’t do on a daily basis.”

Interested teams of at least two students can sign up before noon on Feb. 17 to participate in this year’s event, which will be held in the DAC at 4 p.m. the next day.

Beyond bragging rights, students have competed for awards such as fastest boat, best design and best sinking boat in the past.

“Above all else, this is an awesome team-building exercise,” said Volpintesta. “You have to communicate and work with your group to build a boat that can float across a pool.”

So if you want to do something fun and different this Saturday that, depending on how your team does and what kind of job you’re looking for, could possibly buoy your résumé, consider the Rec Recycle Regatta. And start hoarding as many cardboard boxes as you can find.