Set to sail: DMS holds annual boat race (PHOTOS)

Savannah Chastain
From left to right, Nolan Berry, Riley Martine, Jake Peaden and Gage Peaden. “Swole Patrol” is the name the kids picked to describe their group, since according to them, they are the strongest seventh graders in the school.

Seventh graders Nolan Berry, Jake Peaden, Gage Peaden and Riley Martine make up team “Swole Patrol” for the 17th Annual Cardboard Boat Race put on by Destin Middle School.

“We’ve been planning for like a month,” said Berry. “We made it like a flat bottomed john-boat, it goes up in the front and we put the back end up so we could go both ways and spin around.”

The four friends constructed their sea-craft from honeycomb cardboard, Gorilla Glue, Duct Tape and paint, and told The Log that they have a secret weapon up their sleeve.

“We made a special paddle to hit our coach with if he tries to sink our boat,” Berry said with a chuckle.

This year, DMS teachers have banded together to create an interdisciplinary unit study surrounding this creative event, which proves to be a student favorite.

“In our math class we had to make a model of the boat, each part of our boat represents an inch of the scale,” said Berry. “In language arts we had to write a paper on the boat, and the history of how it got started.”

The traditional Cardboard Boat Regatta took place Friday morning at Clement Taylor Park. Fifty-four boats raced against one another in eight different heats. Once the students took to the water, it was anyone’s guess whose boat would actually make it to the finish line.

“The boat itself was great, it’s just our paddles gave out,” said Cameron Farrah, whose three-woman team, “Gator Gurlz,” came in second in their heat. “The paddles were slipping so we had to use our spares.”

As for the “Swole Patrol,” their four-man team crammed themselves into their boat. After speeding their way to the halfway line, the team was neck and neck to take second. However, the brawn of four teenaged boys overpowered the small craft, and they ended up capsized, and out of the running for the win.

“We were only going to be a two person boat, but then we used four,” said Gage Peaden.

In the end it was not about winning or loosing, but about learning and fun. Given the amount of splashing, dunking, cheering and camaraderie, it was easy to see that everyone at the boat races was having fun.


1st Place- Cool Runnings. Crew; Harrison Smith, Johann Doum, Will Haught and Holden Harshman.

2nd Place- The Patriot. Crew; Hunter Morea, and Austin Laird.

3rd Place- Help Us Find A Name.Crew; Richard Marques, Elisson Santos, Anthony Bryan and Daniel Perez.

Best Design- Keep It Simple Stupid. Crew; Sam Landers, and Conner Crinnins.

Best Theme- Gator Gurlz. Crew; Lauren Tasillo, Oliva Scoper, and Cameron Farrah.

Best Paddle- Monogrammed It. Crew; Audrey Colletta, Georgia Bright, Chloe Hill, and Abby Curry.