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Faith Rooyakkers took first place in the Teen category at the eighth annual Marine Heritage Festival Cardboat Races July 28 in Southampton.

Hub Staff

Big waves and strong winds may have caused a shorter route but cardboard boats engineered for speed and captained by sheer will made it to the end of the course during the Marine Heritage Festival’s annual Cardboard Boat Races and Chi-Cheemaun Big Canoe Challenge.

The annual event took place on July 28, drawing spectators to the shores of Pioneer Park in Southampton. This year saw more competitors that any other year in a variety of divisions including Under 12, Teen, Family, Adult and Service Clubs and Corporate.

For the fifth year in a row and captained by Liam Robertson, Martin’s Bicycle Shop won the Service Club and Corporate division while The Southampton Rotary Club placed second and the Chantry Island Cham-bettes took third and again took home the People’s Choice Award.

The Rooyakkers family made a big splash in the three different categories where Grace (Bat Girl) 11, won the Under 12 category, older sister Faith won the Teen category after her sole competitor sank and father Mike won the Adult Category.

The MS Chi-Cheemaun Big Canoe Challenge saw teams battle each other with the wind aiding teams facing north leading to multiple wins. Teams included Willy’s Fast Paddlers, who in the end beat out the Saugeen Shores Council and Municipal Staff team. Duffy’s Fish and Chips, Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre, Holiday Park and the Port Elgin Harbour staff all faced one another in multiple challenges.

Other category winners included Under 12 that saw the Toronto Maple Leafs take third, Kate on Vaca and the Shark Attack tied for second, and The Bat-boat returns earned first place.

The Family category saw The Toothless and the Unicorn place third, the Yellow Submarine second and Brynn’s Tiger and the Croc came in first.

In the Adult category, Sharkzilla placed third, Shenanigans placed second and Hold my Beer placed first.


Izzy Farnady (Captain Jaclyn Sparrow) of Port Elgin went down with the ship at the eighth annual Marine Heritage Festival’s Cardboard Boat Race in Southampton July 28. Farnady proudly celebrated with fellow pirate Captain Wayne Sparrow.


The race that saw the most action and speed was the race between the Southampton Rotary Club and Martin’s Bicycle Shop in the Corporate and Service Club division. In the end the Martin’s took the win for the fifth year in a row.


Captain of the Seaward and winner of the Corporate and Service Club division Liam Robertson with Captain Wayne Sparrow.

kid entries

This crew of ships had two top three finishes in the Under 12 category.

batgirl win

Bat Girl, aka Grace Rooyakkers, with her crime-stopping and winning ship.


The Wilkens family served up good competition for the Unicorn entry in the Family division.


There were more sinks than finishes with the wavy day July 28.


The only boat to simultaneously sink and finish the race.


A big bailout from dad had this captain ready to start again.

cham bettes

The Chantry Island Cham-bettes won the People’s Choice Award for another year and placed third in their category.


Mike Rooyakker and his entry Hold My Beer took first in the Adult competition.


Captain Wayne Sparrow was no match for the wind, waves and Big Canoe when it pushed him over during the first Big Canoe Challenge.

chi cheemaun

A few elected officials and municipal staff celebrated their win over the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre crew during the Chi-Cheemaun Big Canoe Challenge.


Faith Rooyakkers took to the water in this yellow beauty during the eighth annual Marine Heritage Festival's Cardboard Boat Races.