Cardboard Boat Race returns to Riverhead Saturday

All hands on cardboard! The Riverhead Cardboard Boat Race is returning for its 11th year, set to take place along the Peconic Riverfront on Saturday, Aug. 10.

Hundreds gathered in downtown Riverhead last year to watch paddlers compete against each other in the free event hosted by the Riverhead Business Improvement District.  Registration and inspection begin at 9 a.m., and boats will be off to the races by 11 a.m.

Divisions for the competition include youth, single riders, group and outlaw races.

The only materials permitted are cardboard, duct tape, water-based glue and latex paint, but that hasn’t hindered creativity of contestants in years past. “The Hammock Boat” and “The Riverhead Rowing Gnomes” were just some of the innovative designs from last year’s race.

This year, attendees can witness the Battle of the Town Supervisors — a showdown between Riverhead supervisor Laura Jens-Smith and Southampton supervisor Jay Schneiderman as they race against each other in duct-taped vessels on the Peconic River.  Along with rooting on the sidelines for their favorite boat, attendees can expect a kids zone with rock wall, inflatables, games and Hula Hoop contest taking place at 10:30 a.m. Prizes will be given out for best spirit, Titanic sinking, best constructed and most creative.

For rules, registration and other details, visit Call the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce for more info at 631-727-7600 or email at [email protected].

Photo caption: The Youth Regatta Race at last year’s Cardboard Boat Race. (Elizabeth Wagner photo)