Te Anau cardboard boats sink or sail gallery

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The boats take back in the cardboard boat race at Te Anau on Saturday.

Lije Day and Jack White row their boat White Kanon into first place in the junior section.

Mossburn number 2 gets into trouble on the water.

Franzi Heidtke and Catie Pai race to victory in the Real Journeys boat.

Franzi Heidtke and Catie Pai race to victory in the Real Journeys boat.

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A boat that seemed destined for victory fell apart just metres from the finish line before being run over by the eventual winner at the annual Te Anau cardboard boat race.

The annual race, held on Lake Te Anau on Saturday, was a day of soggy victory as Real Journeys pipped Go Orange at the post to rip the title away from seven-time winners St John.

Race organiser Ruth Shaw said the day was an amazing success with between 600 to 700 people out to watch the race on the lake.

It was quite a windy day in Te Anau and three of the boats sank, she said.

READ MORE: Te Anau's cardboard boats a secret until race day

There were nine boats in the adult competition, with three in the juniors.

White Kanon, manned by Lije Day and Jack White, took first place in the junior section.

Shaw said the crowd favourite in the adult section was Quacker, from Mossburn.

Quacker was towing a big duck behind it until the boat began to fill with water and the duck had to be cut loose, Shaw said.

But the biggest tragedy of the day came for the team from Go Orange, which was in the lead until the final moments of the race.

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"Their little boat fell apart only metres from the finish line and then their boat was run over," Shaw said.

Go Orange lost to the Real Journeys team, with Fiordland Sewerage Options' boat La Crappe coming in second.

It was the first time the St John team had been beaten since the race was reinstated in 2013.

In fact, they had come last this year after previously winning the race seven times, Shaw said.

"It was really good that they finally got the shield off the ambulance."

With such great support this year, Shaw hoped to expand the race to 20 boats.

"Next year I'd like to get a lot more juniors."

 - Stuff

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