Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 59 > Page 20 - The Great Paper Boat Race of the World

Page 20 - The Great Paper Boat Race of the World

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1992/1/1 (1175 reads)
 

So Mean Machine should have won. But, like Breton Too, she was counting on the wind. Breton Too "sailed across great to the starting line," said Paul Osborne. "And then as the starting flag went, the wind died. Partway through, we thought it was coming again, and then we looked at the smoke from the pulp mill. It was going straight up. So there we were, rowing one long ton." No wind, no contest. Mean Machine could be paddled effectively, true. But Stora Vikings six men rowed like Norsemen intent on pil? lage. Mean Machine came second, Breton Too third. Sometime that afternoon. The Papal Boat arwed. This was "a deliberate strategic decision," Maclnnis claimed in a subsequent letter to The Reporter. "It was not our intention to come ashore until the hamburgers were cooked." Jim Organ's Diary. July 1: "Won race. Unbelievable. Fastest vesseL Won overall. All worth it. Large crowd. Damn it feels goodf Stora Viking was prepared to defend the next year. Mean Machine waited in a loft. But Breton Too's leak turned her cardboard hull to mush, and Paul Osborne regretfully set her afire. She burned very well. Meanwhile, Bill Martin had mail from as far away as California. Paper shipwrights contemplated canoes, kayaks, even a submarine. Bill Maclnnis said The Papa/Soaf would tow a waterskier in 1985, ena? bling her to finish both first and second. Alas, the race was never held again, although it had the potential to become what the 500 Is to Indianapolis, what the America's Cup once was to Newport, what bathtubs are to Nanaimo. Martin turned Tory and went to work for the Mayor of Port Hawkesbury, who was running for the provincial legislature. The mayor was Billy Joe Mac- Lean, who won the election and became a cabinet minister, but ulti? mately proved too aromatic even for the spectacularly tolerant atmos? phere of Nova Scotia politics. Convicted of padding his expense ac? counts, he was expelled from the Legislature in a special sitting called specifically for that purpose. Martin vanished into some pro? moter's Valhalla in Halifax, and the Great Paper Boat Race of the World disappeared. Still, Port Hawkesbury's paper ships and polyester men were true in? heritors of a great Nova Scotia tradition. As S/Vversar/c sailed past the Port Hawkesbury Yacht Club, 1 remembered the verses of John Masefield, the master of the kraft: I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky; And all I ask is a sulphite ship, and a kleenex to wipe my eye, And a newsprint sheet, and windward beat with the J-cloths all a-shakin' And a cardboard spar pointin' at a star, and a dawn like waxed paper breakin'.... Our 20th Year in Business - Canso Realties Ltd. Box 727 Port Hawkesbury, N. 8. BOE 2V0 . Phone (902) 625-0302 • We carry 300 listings of property for sale in Cape Breton and Eastern Nova Scotia. JIM MARCHAND • BROKER Our thanks to Jim Organ for supplying photographs from the Great Paper Boat Race of the World. Our thanks as well to Silver Donald Cameron and his publisher, Macmillan of Canada, for permission to share with our readers this taste of Wind, Whales and WhIsky • SWyer Donald's new book about a summer he, Lulu and IVIark spent circumnavigating Cape Breton Island aboard their handmade wooden sailboat, Sil? versark. Wind, Whales and Whisky is available in bookstores and gift shops everywhere. Hardcover, with photographs: $27.95 plus GST. The Cape Breton Tourist Association Offers 100,000 Welcomes to All Visitors to Our Island You will find the hospitality truly outstanding while you visit with us. And we hope you will remember us kindly when you return to your homes. IF YOU THINK THE WINTER IS GREAT- COME SEE us NEXT SUMMER! Don Blackwood, Executive Director, Cape Breton Tourist Association, 20 Keltic Drive, Sydney River, Nova Scotia BIS 1P5 WRITE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, OR PHONE 539-9876 Photo by Warren Gordon $.
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