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30th Cardboard Cup Regatta celebrated next month in Crystal Lake

Cardboard now available for pickup at Park District

Published: Sunday, May 25, 2014 12:16 a.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, May 25, 2014 12:29 a.m. CDT
(File photo Kyle Grillot -
David Low competes during the 29th annual America’s Cardboard Cup Regatta at the Crystal Lake Park District’s Main Beach June 22, 2013. The competition raises money for local charities. The 30th anniversary of America's Cardboard Cup Regatta is getting closer and those wanting to participate can start picking up cardboard and materials for their entry.

CRYSTAL LAKE – The year’s most anticipated shipment of cardboard in Crystal Lake has arrived and residents can begin to collect their share for boat building festivities.

With the 30th annual America’s Cardboard Cup Regatta set for June 28, residents will have plenty of time to start building boats for the competition as cardboard has been delivered to the Crystal Lake Park District Maintenance Garage at 300 Lake Shore Drive where people can pick up materials anytime between 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. The cardboard is free thanks to a donation by American Eagle Packaging of Elgin, said event chairman Nick Kachiroubas.

The Regatta features teams competing against each other in primarily cardboard boats. There are six classes, including mechanically powered boats and sail-powered boats where the fastest vessel wins a trophy.

Awards also are given out for accomplishments such as “Most Spectacular Sinking” and “Most Creative Theme,” which has ranged from a red Solo cup boat to Pirates of the Caribbean-inspired vessels in recent years.

Materials other than cardboard are allowed to be used in construction. Details of allowable materials are available at

The competition raises money for local charities, contributing more than $500,000 since the first event. Entry fees are $20 a family, $200 a business, and a $3 general admission fee a person that is capped at $15 a family.

The event draws more than 2,000 people a year.

“Our mission is to provide fun for families and the community,” Kachiroubas said. “People were registering before cardboard was in, so that points toward a good year.”

This year’s event could feature a special race. Kachiroubas said in honor of the 30th anniversary, organizers are trying to track down past winners to race against each other in a special event, but it has been difficult finding former champions.

“It would be fun to honor the people who have won over the 30 years and hopefully bring new people out in the process,” he said.

Boats can be registered the day of the event or ahead of time at the park district office. Sponsorships are still available for local businesses. Those interested in sponsoring the event can email Bryan Javor at

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