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Mattituck students brave rough seas in annual cardboard boat race

06/07/2018 12:04 PM |

Cardboard and tape. That’s all Mattituck High School physics students could use to craft boats used to loop around a buoy several yards out from the beach Wednesday near the Mattituck Yacht Club on the Peconic Bay.

It was the 12th annual physics regatta, an extra credit project that is one of many events that marks the end of the school year for seniors at Mattituck. Students constructed boats of different shapes and sizes. One group went for paddleboard-style raft.

“This might be the nastiest seas we’ve ever had,” physics teacher Steve DeCaro said. “It made it that much more difficult.”

Facing the elements, some boats didn’t stand a chance, Mr. DeCaro noted. The bay was rough as students fought to paddle against the wind and some whitecaps, but a few vessels held up for the trip back to shore.

This included a one constructed by this year’s valedictorian Alexandra Talbot, who will continue a passion for sailing at Tufts University this fall where she plans to study mechanical engineering.

“It was tiring. It was fun, but the waves were hard,” Alexandra said.

Cavan Gardner and Sam Dickerson also made it through the course with their boat made of sonotube, which sat on the water like pontoons, and boxes they picked up from Mullen Motors. It took them about fours hours to build.

Before they left beach, another battle ensued, after a student brought out a cooler filled with water balloons.

“It’s a great little way for use to end the year,” Mr. DeCaro said. “Any time we can get them outside the classroom thinking about physics, it’s good seeing them outside the classroom. We live on an island and it’s a lot of fun being over by then water.”

Photo credit: Kelly Zegers

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Mattituck students Peter Pugliese, left, and James Clementi. (Credit: Kelly Zegers)

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