As the 7th grade class adds the final touches to their cardboard boats, students, teachers and parents from Destin Middle School gear up for the school’s annual boat regatta being held this Friday, April 26.

Approaching its 16th year, 7th graders from Destin Middle School have been working tirelessly on their cardboard creations since the beginning of March, according to regatta organizer and Destin Middle School science teacher and 7th grade team leader Paula Farland.

Having been a part of Destin Middle School tradition since the school first opened, this event has become a favorite for the students, teachers and parents.

"Kicking off in March, the students begin learning various facts about boats in all of their classes," said Farland. "So in science class they learn about buoyancy and other specifics, while in English class they usually write some kind of an essay or story about boats."

Building a vessel from cardboard is harder than one might think, as there are specific rules and guidelines students must follow to enter the event.

According to Farland, who's been the "captain” of the regatta since 2004, this year's race should prove to be an exciting one, with close to 200 7th graders participating in this year’s event.

Crews and their homemade boats will be awarded prizes in the following categories: Race winners: 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place, best dressed crew/theme, best boat design and the Davy Jones Locker award — given to the boat and crew who sink in the most entertaining, funny way.

The event is being held at Clement Taylor Park, located at 131 Calhoun Avenue in Destin, and the public is invited to join. The best times for curious crowds hoping to watch Friday's race will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.