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Team COPRI Kayak Makes Valiant Home Stretch Surge, Ultimately Falls Short

Friday, July 21, 2017

COPRI Kayak The COPRI Kayak Team.

City of Water Day took place in New York City and New Jersey on July 15. Hosted by the Waterfront Alliance, the 10 th Annual Celebration of the New York Harbor included many events, including a Sailors NYC sailboat tour and demonstration, the Billion Oyster Project exhibit and learning area, and numerous recreational waterfront activities. 

To many, the highlight of the day was the Cardboard Kayak Race, sponsored by Consolidated Edison of New York and held at Governor's Island in the New York Harbor. The COPRI Metropolitan Section has supported the Alliance's initiatives and has participated in this activity for a number of years. The COPRI Kayak Team once again fielded a formidable team to design, construct, and paddle their cardboard kayak in the Pier 101 basin.

The annual competition consisted of 25 teams who were each provided 10 sheets of cardboard, tape, a box cutter, and scant additional resources.  Teams were provided two hours to design and construct their seaworthy vessels before taking to the water.

This year's COPRI Team was comprised of Raj Chinthamani (Mueser Rutledge), Kevin Odenthal (Hatch), Matt McCarty (McLaren), Miguelina Estimable (Moffatt Nichol), and Andrew Keane (Guy Nordenson and Associates). The vessel design was modified slightly from last year's design to provide a thicker hull and lengthened vessel.  This year's event prohibited the use of tape measures and rulers, presenting some significant new challenges to the team.  Makeshift measuring tools were fabricated at the onset, and the team then went to work.  After cutting, taping, and waterproofing the vessel, it was time to start the race.

The team was faced with a daunting challenge immediately, as our foil from last year, the House of Cardboard Kayaks, was placed in the same first round heat as the COPRI Team.  Andrew Keane and Matt McCarty bravely volunteered to take the paddles and embrace the first round challenge. The race was tight throughout, and as both teams made the turn, there was significant vessel traffic along the home stretch. Andrew and Matt fought through the congestion and made a spirited dash to catch the House of Cardboard Kayaks at the finish, ultimately capsizing through shear effort as they approached the dock, mere seconds behind the opposition.

It was an unfortunate finish to an otherwise fantastic day. The COPRI Team will be back with a modified design in the summer of 2018 to avenge their defeat.  Thanks to all who participated and to the Water Alliance for organizing a wonderful day on the water.