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Cardboard boat regatta returns for 2021

Thank You Theme

Bideford’s Water Festival including the famous Cardboard Boat Regatta is set to return on July 4th after organisers the Rotary Club of Bideford had to postpone last year’s event due to Covid restrictions. In the meantime the club has been busy helping to staff the Coronavirus vaccine centre at Westward Ho and so have decided to pay tribute to their volunteers at this year’s festival as Rotarian Jacquie Willoughby explains:

“We were terribly disappointed not to hold the festival in 2020 but we had no other choice. We did manage to stage a model cardboard boat race instead of the real thing last year so we’re very excited to be able to return to a normal festival this year. Sunday July 4th is a national thank you day for all the people who have helped the nation during the Covid crisis so it seemed the perfect choice to also be the theme of our Cardboard Boat Regatta. We can’t wait to see what designs people will come up with to say thank you.”

With a ‘Thank you’ theme for 2021 then Rotarians are intrigued about the creations that will be entered into the races with cardboard syringes, NHS logos and Banana Bread likely to feature with entrants attempting not to sink before finishing. Atlas Packaging will once again sponsor the Regatta and are donating some cardboard to participants on a first come first served basis with Managing Director Jason Sharman delighted at the choice of theme:

“When the Rotary Club said they were choosing the national Thank You day as the theme for this year’s Regatta we thought it was a really lovely idea. The club has been so involved in helping more than 30,000 vaccine doses to be  delivered into arms at Westward Ho! that they deserve plenty of thanks themselves. We’re delighted to continue our sponsorship of the Regatta as the cardboard creations are fantastic and it’s always fun seeing if the boats will sink or make it all the way to the finish line.”

July 4th races

The Cardboard Boat Regatta sponsored by Atlas Packaging is the centre piece of the Water Festival. The Rotary Club is now encouraging people to enter the competition and begin building their cardboard boats to sail a short course on the River Torridge. The boats can be made out of sheets of cardboard and painted but there are a list of rules from organisers about things that aren’t allowed in the construction of the boats.

The Water Festival will take place on the afternoon of July 4th to make the most of the high tide as well as to allow the vaccine volunteers to support the Westward Ho! vaccine centre in the morning before being thanked at the event. If you’d like to take part then more details can be found here.

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