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Milk-carton boaters compete in Westmoreland Park

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - As the heat began during the 2013 Milk Carton Boat Races, they were off and paddling - mostly.Some of the 49 watercraft entered in the 2013 Portland Rose Festival Milk Carton Boat Races held on Sunday, June 9th, at the Westmoreland Park Casting Pond, were rigorously-designed and meticulously-built.

Many more were obviously just hastily thrown together – relying on faith more than physics.

But most of those who captained their boats across the pond appeared to be more intent on having fun than winning a regatta.

Even though he didn’t win his races, Duniway third-grader Jacob Blosser was sanguine about the experience. “It was a lot of fun, even though we almost crashed into the raft in the middle of the pond.”

This year, 75 participants – children and adults – paraded their Milk Carton Showboats, and raced the width of the big, historic, WPA-built pond on handmade boats floated entirely on milk cartons and milk jugs.

“It’s a fun event for the whole family to enjoy,” grinned Dairy Farmers of Oregon Communications Manager Carissa Sauer about the fifth annual boat races since the event was revived by the refilling of the casting pond. “This year is also benefit for the Oregon Food Bank Network.”

Hayden and Bob Kelly of Portland won “Best in Show” with their boat “Milky Way”; their names will be engraved on the perpetual milk-can trophy.