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The idea for a cardboard boat race-off between the managers of the Ports of Toledo and Newport, came from Newport Port Commissioner David Jincks last month. If he had any thoughts that Newport’s new young and vibrant port manager would leave Toledo’s middle-aged Bud Shoemake in his wake, it all fell in on him almost immediately after the starting horn blasted.
As part of the Toledo Wooden Boat Show, the hand-built containerboard (thick cardboard) boat races have become very, very popular. And that put Jincks up to arranging the race between the two port managers. The losing team caters a scrumptious pizza party at the winning team’s next commission meeting.
Well, to make a long story short, it wasn’t 15 seconds after the starting horn that Toledo’s Shoemake was already pulling out well ahead of his rival. And it stayed that way throughout the race. As Shoemake rounded the half-way buoy, just beyond the port boathouse, Greenwood was barely half-way there. For a moment or two Shoemake seemed to slow down a little, as if to politely taunt Greenwood of Newport who is several decades his junior.
Shoemake quickly resumed his long paddle strokes, pushing his lengthy water-line containerboard canoe through the water with the greatest of ease. His craft was named the Sharon B in honor of former Toledo Mayor Sharon Branstetter who Shoemake knew well and worked with to promote economic growth in Toledo.
When Kevin Greenwood finally finished the race at a very distant second place, both men shook hands and the Newport Commissioner David Jincks detached the propeller from Greenwood’s craft…and awarded it as a trophy for Shoemake’s exemplary seamanship. Greenwood said his port will live up to the responsibility for providing a yummy pizza dinner at the Port of Toledo’s next commissioner’s meeting.
There were speculative discussions of course about carrying this inter-port rivalry forward perhaps as a permanent fixture of future Toledo Wooden Boat Shows. Both ports think the idea is a great one. So with minimal fanfare Greenwood bequeathed the Paisly II’s cardboard replica of a propeller with congratulatory messages written on it, signed by Port of Newport Commissioners.
You can bet that next year’s Port of Newport craft will more closely mirror the long-water-line design of Shoemake’s boat. The rivalry is established. A tradition is in the making. Destiny beckons.
It doesn’t get any more pleasantly hometown than this.
WOODEN BOAT SHOW CONTINUES SUNDAY!
8am Rise & Shine biscuits & gravy at the river, observing wildlife beginning at 8am, while scottish bagpipe music plays softly in the background.
10am Wooden Boat Show continues , with kids activities, poker paddle & more.
12:30pm Kayak Safety Demonstration by Tom Murphy.
1pm Mass Launch of Youth Boats built at marina.
1:30pm Youth Obstacle Court at marina. BYOB or borrow one. There’s plenty.
2:30pm Launch of Family Boat Building kayaks at marina.
3:30pm People Choice winner announced at Pavilion Stage. Poker Paddle winner announced at Boat House.
4pm Time to go home for dinner. See ya next year!!