Local damsels saved during annual cardboard boat race

BOAT CREATIVITY: Five teams constructed boats made out of cardboard and tape to rescue their damsel waiting on a pontoon in Rogers Pond. (Pioneer photo/Katlyn Vuillemot)

BOAT CREATIVITY: Five teams constructed boats made out of cardboard and tape to rescue their damsel waiting on a pontoon in Rogers Pond. (Pioneer photo/Katlyn Vuillemot)

Festivities continue with Wet Poker Run, Jam at the Dam

ROGERS HEIGHTS — Between rain storms on Saturday, with the help of family and friends, five damsels managed to get stuck in the middle of Rogers Pond.

Community members took part in the fourth annual Dam Festival, which included a Damsel in Distress race, a Wet Poker Run and a Jam at the Dam

“The reason for the Dam Festival is to bring awareness to the Rogers Heights Dam,” said Amanda Greenwood, administration assistant at the Mecosta County Chamber of Commerce.

The festival began at 3 p.m. with the annual Damsel in Distress race at Ulrich Park.

The race included five teams who competed for best race time using handmade boats of cardboard and duct tape.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Greenwood said. “It’s a challenge to encourage people to use their creativity.”

Racers prepared themselves, each confident in their unique boat designs.

DAMSEL IN DISTRESS: Aaron McDanield saves his damsel in distress, Keri Morency and prepares to head back to shore. (Pioneer photo/Katlyn Vuillemot)

DAMSEL IN DISTRESS: Aaron McDanield saves his damsel in distress, Keri Morency and prepares to head back to shore. (Pioneer photo/Katlyn Vuillemot)

For the race, one teammate paddled the boat out to their damsel who waited on a pontoon, and then jumped into the boat with their teammate and paddled back to shore.

Two boats went head to head racing for the best time.

Although most boats made it back to shore damage free, others weren’t so lucky.

Contestants Lindsey Veersma and Keagan James constructed their boat “The Raft” out of cardboard tubes and were excited for their race, until the tubes began to come apart. The team was forced to pull their boat to shore.

TEAM SPIRIT: The Raft, built by Lindsey Veersma and Keagan, did not survive the race and the team was forced to drag their boat back to shore. (Pioneer photo/Katlyn Vuillemot)

TEAM SPIRIT: The Raft, built by Lindsey Veersma and Keagan James, did not survive the race and the team was forced to drag their boat back to shore. (Pioneer photo/Katlyn Vuillemot)

“It can be really tricky to construct a boat, but some of our contestants have mastered it,” Greenwood said.

Coming in at 2 minutes 33 seconds, the boat Smaug, paddled by River Myers and Morris Graham of Stanwood, beat the second place team Pretty Little Things, paddled by Drew Myers and Kristen Cranney, by four seconds.

For the third year in a row, River and Graham took home the first-place prizes of $100 cash and the traveling trophy.

FIRST PLACE: River Myers and Morris Graham of Stanwood, won first place at the Damsel in Distress race on Saturday. (Pioneer photo/Katlyn Vuillemot)

FIRST PLACE: River Myers and Morris Graham of Stanwood, won first place at the Damsel in Distress race on Saturday. (Pioneer photo/Katlyn Vuillemot)

“The race is a lot of fun and we still have bragging rights,” River said.

Although River and Graham refused to give away their secret to creating a sink-proof cardboard boat, they did say it takes plenty of hard work and dedication.

“When I’m out there on the boat, my adrenaline just starts pumping and I’m not nervous at all,” Graham said. “It’s just a lot of fun.”

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Posted by Katlyn Vuillemot

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