TidBits 044: “And sweet to me is shipwreck in this sea...”

The use of cardboard to build a seafaring boat may seem a bizarre idea, and wanting to use it to navigate a torrent sounds like an impossibly dangerous endeavor! Cardboard is certainly not the most appropriate material, but… it can be done and it looks like fun, too!

In Italy – precisely in Cesana Torinese, in the province of Turin – for years, the first weekend in July marks the date of the Carton Rapid Race®: a bizarre amateur race on the river! Unique in Italy (and perhaps in the entire world), the Carton Rapid Race® (born in 1991), for almost 20 years animates this river feast, a promotional and aggregating sports event that has come to constitute a fixed appointment for fans and braves of every kind!

It is a test of sports ability, artistic and construction ability, too, because it first of all consists in building one’s own boat (canoe, kayak, raft), on-site, using exclusively cardboard and a pre-established quantity of adhesivetape, and then in descending the rough waters of the torrent, official chronograph time included. This year, almost1,000 participants with their 300 boats met in Alta Valle Susa to give free reign to the goliardic excesses of their imagination.

The Carton Rapid Race® may not constitute the first or the only initiative that involves paper boats challenging the waters, but it is certainly one of the most amusing… “And sweet to me is ship wreck in this sea...” (G. Leopardi -L’Infinito).

Images of some boats participating at the latest edition of the Carton Rapid Race®, on July 4th, 2010.

For more info: www.cartonrapidrace.it

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