The Marine Industries Association of South Florida’s 22nd Annual Plywood Regatta took place at the Dania Beach City Marina on April 14 and 15. The two-day boatbuilding and racing event is intended to introduce students to career opportunities associated with recreational boating.
Thirty-six teams from South Florida middle and high schools and colleges built, painted and decorated boats using hand tools, three sheets of plywood, 3M 5200 fast-cure caulk and zip ties. On Sunday, the teams competed in heats to determine an overall winner.
“This is such a great community event and every year we have as much fun watching the boat designs come to life as the kids have making them,” said Nicole Hoekstra, MIASF event coordinator, in a statement.
In the Beginner’s Division, Mission Blue from Palm Beach Maritime Academy took top honors while Sea Biscuit from Cardinal Gibbons High School raced to victory in the Intermediate Division. Play Attention from McFatter Technical School was the winner in the Advanced Division and took the Lauderdale Marine Center Overall Cup. Nautilus from Nova High School earned the Fort Lauderdale Mariners Club Top Team Award.
All proceeds from the event benefit South Florida’s marine industry education programs and the Plywood Regatta Scholarship Fund. At the event, MIASF awarded $6,000 in scholarships to six students bound for careers in the marine industry. Hali Guiterrez will be attending Maritime Professional Training for crew training; Ashleigh Lucas, a junior at South Plantation High School is dual-enrolled at Broward College and the University of Florida and is pursuing a career as a doctor for the U.S. Navy; Andreah Pierre will be attending Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., to study marine biology and pre-health; Natalie Gadelrab is a sophomore at Florida Institute of Technology studying ocean engineering; Ricardo Perez is majoring in marine biology at Tallahassee Community College; and Paul Womack will begin training for his captain’s license at Maritime Professional Training. Afterward, Maritime Professional Training, which is the Skills Café sponsor and sponsors a team at the event, offered to match the $1,000 scholarships for Guiterrez and Perez.
Support for the event was provided by the city of Dania Beach, Westport Yachts, Lauderdale Marine Center, Fort Lauderdale Mariner’s Club, Teak Decking Systems, Seafarer Marine, Interlux, 3M Boat Owner’s Warehouse and High Seas Yacht Service.