By: Sharon Aron Baron
The Annual Plywood Regatta held their two-day boat building event where students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s “Save What’s Left” Environmental Club worked together building and designing a boat.
Organized by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) the event introduces local youth to the craft of boat building and the excitement of recreational boating. This weekend, 40 teams of middle school, high school and marine technical school students built sea-worthy vessels using simple hand-tools and only the supplied materials of plywood, caulk, and zip ties.
Douglas students Brandon Arboleda, Max Baron, Seasia Catena, Maelle Charles Cazeau, Lauren Chan, and Gabe Peterson spent their entire weekend, with the help of a mentor experienced in boat-building, assemble their vessel called “Blue Leaf” which was designed to resemble a video game.
Once their boat was complete, they painted it late until Saturday evening. On Sunday morning, they competed in a race where two people had to successfully navigate the boat around a buoy. There were several series of heats to determine an event champion. Fortunately, “Blue Leaf” made it through several heats without submerging. It wasn’t until the mentor race that it had some problems taking on some water, and was unable to hold two people at that point. This year the students didn’t bring home a trophy, but they had a great time and worked hard at their creation, even enjoying a meal at Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour after their long weekend.
All Plywood Regatta proceeds benefit South Florida’s marine industry education programs and the Plywood Regatta Scholarship Fund. The aim of these programs is to encourage marine education and develop students’ interest in the marine industry.
The sponsors of the Save What’s Left Club are Ms. Orilio and Mrs. Pearce. The Club is looking for new students for next year where their objective is recycling, the waterway cleanup, Envirothon, butterfly garden maintenance, and participation in the annual Plywood Regatta.
Want your Coral Springs school to participate next year? Then register for the 2016 regatta when forms are available! Plywood Regatta.