Santa Monica Quirk: Cardboard Yacht Regatta

Cheer on pool-worthy vessels at the Annenberg Community Beach House.

California is nestled by a rather impressive body of water along one its western edge. (Saying "spoiler alert" here, about the Pacific Ocean, would only be an exercise in cheek, so we shan't.)

Add that famous expanse of water to all of our state's lakes and streams and, yes, pools, and you have a region that's ripe for boatly competition, of both the everyday and outlandish sorts.

The outlandish showdowns can and do include creative kinetic vessels, the sorts of boats that sail each year in Ventura and Humboldt County, as well as the build-it-fast wooden boat competition of Bodega Bay.

But the cardboard yachts of the Annenberg Community Beach House are some of the quirkiest of the entire batch, and they happen right here in Southern California.

"Only corrugated cardboard and duct tape" are permitted in the boats' construction, and whether they can stay afloat, and indeed weather the (pool) waves, will be seen on Saturday evening, Aug. 27.

Indeed, we said "pool" there. The keep-your-camera-out competition happens not in the nearby ocean but rather at the Santa Monica landmark's popular outdoor pool. And there are three Cardboard Yacht Regatta categories to consider entering, including one for adults, one for kids, and one that includes both a kid and an adult.

Don't fret if duct tape and cardboard don't go the decorative distance in your boat-building imagination. You're allowed to festoon your yacht, and give it some personality, so keep the pens and pennants handy, and ponder a name with marine-inspired moxie.

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If your cardboard creation should go down midway across the pool, with you in it, well, hey — you're in a pool. Gather together your sopping ship and smile to the applauding onlookers as you wade over to the side.

Want to join in this joyful end-of-summer ritual? RSVP now, and start scaring up some corrugated cardboard, and bravado, pronto.

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