Te Anau's cardboard boats a secret until race day

John Lambeth gets ready to put the finishing touches to the St John entry in the 2016 Cardboard Boat Race on Lake Te Anau..
BARRY HARCOURT

John Lambeth gets ready to put the finishing touches to the St John entry in the 2016 Cardboard Boat Race on Lake Te Anau..

The annual Te Anau cardboard boat race is back for 2016, but the boats are shrouded in secrecy until race day. 

The event, to be held on Saturday at Lake Te Anau is a fundraiser for the Marakura Yacht Club.

Race organiser Ruth Shaw said the event was family friendly and would include races and categories for all ages. 

There were strict rules on the materials that could be used to build the cardboard boat, she said.

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"The day will start in the morning with the judging of the cardboard boats and the cardboard boats will be arriving on the Friday night. The judging takes place on the Saturday." 

The parade leaves the Te Anau Domain at 12.30pm and travels along the lakefront to the Marakura Yacht Club, Shaw said. 

"This is the first year we've had the street parade. We've made the cardboard boat race into a family day. It's been going about 20 years." 

Boats were often sunk, damaged and discarded at the end of the event but many put weeks of preparation into their vessels, Shaw said.

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A Mossburn resident went to particular lengths on his cardboard boats, putting months of effort into them each year, Shaw said. 

"Last year he built a viking boat. This year I've seen his boat but I'm not allowed to tell you what it is. He really gets off on building cardboard boats. He brings his boats all the way from Mossburn and they're incredible." 

Shaw said she was lucky enough to have seen many of the boats already. Many children and families were putting hours into their boats and they looked "incredible", Shaw said. 

The boats were always a secret until the day, Shaw said. 

 - Stuff

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