Family Bonds Over Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisAlpena — The Fourth of July allows families to come together over parades, fireworks, and good food.For one Alpena family, a regatta continues to bring them closer together each year. The Zbytowski family has been competing in the Thunder Bay Cardboard Boat Regatta for the past four years. Before those four years, the family members were spectators until one summer.“Every year we would go down and watch it and there’s four engineers in the family so I always said that someone has to be able to build a boat,” said Gayle Zbytowski, grandmother of the family.The group put their minds together and crafted “Over Engineered.” Eric Zbytowski was the first to take on the challenge of engineering, designing, and creating a cardboard boat that would float and win the competition. The boat was in commission for four years, facing tweaks and alterations to get the vessel just right for each competition. The boat won two awards over those fours years, but Eric believed that this year it was time for a change not only in boats but the number of boats.“This year we built the first [new] boat pretty much as the same format as the other one, just a lot smaller,” said Eric. “We’re also building a second boat so I can compete with the kids.”With Zibby 1 and Zibby 2 in the water, the Zbytowski’s can double their chances of victory. Eric’s children Jacob and Kelana will pilot the smaller boat. The boats are sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts. The Zbytowski’s will enter their fifth year competing at the regatta. No matter the outcome, it’s always a fun time for the family to get together and work towards achieving victory but ultimately having fun. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Use caution on the 4th: Fireworks can trigger PTSD in veteransNext Battle of the Paddles Kicks Off 18th Annual Maritime Festivallast_img

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