The inaugural World Paper Boat Race is set to be held in Melbourne, with paper boat mechanics flocking from all parts of the globe to take part in the race.
“This is a triumph, not just for aquatic engineering but also the city of Melbourne,” said WPBR head chairperson Molly Sinkable. “Our city has always prided itself on producing fine engineers that make changes on a world scale. And our Melbourne boat mechanics are known everywhere for their attention to detail and work ethic. It’s only too appropriate that the paper boats will be launching en masse from our fine docks.”
The event is set to involve hundreds of participants, with the goal being to make a paper boat the size of a row boat to sail across the bay and around a set course, before it returns to the shore. The competition was organised by a group of boating enthusiasts who wanted to make sailing accessible to people of all incomes.
“Sorry, did you say paper?” said one anonymous outboard motor repair engineer. “Like…the boats are going to be made of paper, and people have to sail in them? That sounds a bit dangerous. Like, for a few minutes maybe…are they sure they’ve thought this out?”
The organisers have assured participants that in the unlikely event of a boat failing, there will be qualified rescuers nearby. Participating boats must be formed entirely from A4 sheets of paper, and must pass a qualifying test to ensure that they are the correct size and shape.
“No, we haven’t conducted any field tests,” said Sinkable, “But paper floats. That’s just basic science. Trust me, some of the people on the organizing team have tenuous connections to some of Melbourne’s best anchor winch specialists. I’m sure if there was something wrong, they’d be the first to speak up, probably, if they know about this. This will be a wonderful event that will make sailing an equal-opportunity sport, to be enjoyed by all with access to large amounts of paper.”