The Captain Cook Sea Cadets will face the high seas — in cardboard — during the 40th annual Seafest.
Every year, the cadets have a mandatory seamanship competition, which usually includes model shipbuilding. Those models typically have been miniature, until now.
With their guests, the Smithers Babine core of Sea Cadets, the teams of two will put their seaworthy skills to the test as they race to build their lifesize boats. Their materials of choice? Your average cardboard, a plastic bag and duct tape. Visit them as they craft their vessels between 1 and 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 9, where you can learn some sailor’s knots, then see which cadets will sink or swim on Sunday.
Hans Siedemann, who won the fan favourite award at the 2016 Quick and Daring event, had some advice for the new sailors.
“Everything takes longer than you expect it will take, so try and come a little bit organized so you don’t have to make any decisions on the fly,” Siedemann said.
Joy Sundin of the Prince Rupert Special Events Society said it was the Sea Cadets of Prince Rupert who suggested the event. This year, no sponsor stepped forward to host the popular Quick and Daring race. The cadets may open the cardboard boat regatta to other young competitors next year, but Sundin said festival activities can be suggested and organized by any group.
“The more events that people come forward with, the bigger festival we have. We’ve got some really different and cool ideas that are coming forward this year,” Sundin said.
The Rod and Gun Club will be hosting their first event at the summertime festival, including an airsoft target range for kids. Children can then get creative with Ecotrust’s “graffiti sea” wall complete with North Coast maps as fishers share their stories.
Also joining an old tradition is a new dunk tank built in Prince Rupert. The former tank was always rented from Terrace, but now Fisheries and Oceans Canada will operate the new tank on Saturday.
“I think it’s really neat because they do a lot. They’re going to have a look tank as well with all the local sea critters. That’s why we’re called Seafest,” Sundin said with a laugh.