Greg Grace and Jason Handsbro had a simple strategy for winning Augusta Technical College's paper-boat race - row, row, row.
Their efforts were futile Wednesday afternoon, though, as their boat, made with cardboard and draped in newspaper comics, buckled halfway across Lake Olmstead. The teammates went down with the ship - the only one among nine entries that didn't make it.
"That's all right. I'm the only one out here who caught an alligator out there," Mr. Grace said, pointing to his sopping wet alligator-skin shoes.
The race was the culmination of Augusta Technical College's 25th annual Field Day activities. Brian Roberts, the director of admissions and public relations at the college, said the day was created to give students some much-needed time away from campus.
"It gives them a break right after midterm, right before that long home stretch," Mr. Roberts said. "This gives them an opportunity to get together with other students for a day of fun."
The boat race is always the highlight of the day, he said.
The race's organizer, Tim Lewis, said the strategy is simple: Build the boat any way you want and with whatever you want - so long as it's paper.
The automotive-technology class has a secret strategy that has worked for four years running. The class took home first place again Wednesday in a 15-minute trip across the lake and back.
"We did the same thing we've done for the last four years," team member Jessica Dimichael said.
"But it's a secret," teammate Sarah Anderson added quickly. "All we'll say is that it's made of cardboard."
Reach Jennifer Hilliard at (706) 823-3220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.