After 16 years of quirky boat races, you might think that the folks at the Pender Harbour Living Heritage Society would be tapped out of new ideas for April Tools. But when the ‘twist’ is announced on April 28 in Millennium Park in Madeira Park, the organizers promise that you won’t have thought of the 17th year’s challenge. Kept secret until 10am on the day of the race, the builders will have one hour to figure out how to incorporate this new idea into their boat. In the three-hour construction period that follows they will have to make something that floats and can be paddled around the dockside course. And remember, they can only use hand tools and battery-powered screw guns.
Besides the fun in doing it, there are prize incentives for the fastest racers: $750 for 1st, $400 for 2nd, $250 for 3rd. Teams can range from two to four members and the entry fee is $160 per team, $140 if received before April 1. All building materials are included in the entry fee and each team member will receive an April Tools T-shirt. Having a great time is a key part of the event.
In addition to the adult races, teens who have built boats in their school shops will have a chance to show off their skills in the Trophy Race. This is followed by their Fun Race that more likely demonstrates their sense of humour.
Other April Tools regulars will be there as well: a big pile of boat hulls, wood blocks and lots of paint for the kids to hammer into the miniboat of their dreams. For the littlest ones, there will be foam hulls, push-in and stick on additions, and more paint. There will be other craft projects as well, and all are free so everyone can have a good time.
For more information or to sign up your team for the April Tools Wooden Boat Challenge call Jackie at (604) 883-0539 or cell (604) 989-3846 or go to www.apriltools.ca.