The Linlithgow Union Canal Society held its 25th anniversary annual Cardboard Boat Race on the Union Canal at the weekend.
Reasonably favourable weather saw 16 crews take part in a contest that displayed great ingenuity and much use of brainpower.
A soggy outcome was guaranteed for each hopeful crew and it was only a matter of time before each met their watery fate.
Eight vessels completed the course while another eight didn’t quite make the ultimate goal of removing a candle from the jaws of a crocodile before placing it in the anniversary cake at the opposite end of the basin.
Experience and previous form was an advantage for the navigators and the ‘Coleram Cruiser’ skippered by Peter Coleman won the British Waterways silver trophy but only by a mere four seconds.
Linlithgow Roses’ Girls Football team won the best entry in the Under 14 category with their Brazilian football theme effort, ‘Brazuca’.’
The ‘Unsinkable’ disproved its name after only 15 seconds but still won the Novice Paddlers Trophy for the most promising new entry.
George Pennycook’s ‘Greased Lightning’ sailed off with the Bill Watt trophy for its clever and useful inclusion of a life raft.
The Wooden Spoon trophy was ‘won’ by ‘The Soggy Sponge’, living up to expectations after launching.
As a reward for enthusing the spectators the ‘Very Ugly Duckling’, with Kate Ogden at the helm, was awarded the trophy for best entertainment while the novice Linlithgow Air Cadets slowly went down to the sound of crew member Graeme Sinclair’s haunting pibroch.
Alongside the boat race drama the watching visitors were entertained and were able to contribute to the days takings through a tombola. The fun on the canal acts as a welcome fund raiser for the upkeep and maintenance of the Society’s two boats, The Leamington and The St Magdalene.
The Canal Society organisers of the day, Duncan and Pat McIntyre said, “ We’re hoping that a much needed refurbishment of the 40 year old vessels’ passenger glass roofs can be started in the near future”.