Floating through the fourth quarter

students paddling handmade boats through water

Students create and race boats made from recycled materials

Eighteen boats glided across Lawson Lake in Coeymans on June 2 as students from Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School paddled their handmade creations during the Seventh Annual Recyclable Boat Regatta. The competitors, students from Shelly Bevan’s Design and Drawing for Production class, raced around the lake in boats constructed of mostly recyclable materials.

“The regatta is a way for us to make technology and design more real to the students,” Bevins said. “The students actually plan and build the boats rather than just reading about it.”

Teams began the race with their boats afloat next to the shore. They then used oars or swam behind their boats to propel them through the wind-blown current, nearly two-thirds the way across the lake and back. To finish the race, each team needed to drag their boat completely onshore.

While some teams were unable to finish the regatta, one team, Grace Engel, Lauren Fennell, Diya Mathi and Claire Pike – the only all-female team – was victorious. And while the competition is meant to be fun, the design, building and floatability of each team’s boat counts towards student’s fourth quarter grade.

Following the race, students recuperated with a barbecue in the park.

“We would like to thank Glenmont Price Chopper, Ravena Shop-n-Save and Stewart’s Shops for their generous contributions, and of course all of the families that help with this event,” Bevins said.