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News | Oct. 17, 2017

The Navy makes a splash during 242nd birthday celebration at DSCC

By Dana Thornbury DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

When you think of the Navy, you think of ships, so what better way to celebrate their 242nd birthday than the 3rd Annual Cardboard Regatta boat race at the Defense Supply Center Columbus Oct. 13.

This year’s theme, “Sea Power to Protect and Promote” provided a time to reflect on the mission, accomplishments and history of the Navy.

DLA Land and Maritime Commander Navy Rear Adm. Michelle Skubic provided opening remarks to kick-off the festivities, reflecting not only on the activities of the day but also remembering those the Navy family lost this year.

“This [regatta] is for fun and such a great idea. I love the innovation. But in this 242nd anniversary, it’s been a tough year,” Skubic said, recalling the events earlier in the year with the USS John S. McCain and USS Fitzgerald.

After a moment of silence, Skubic wished the Navy a happy birthday and kicked-off the regatta.

Twelve teams of two consisting of service members and associates tested the waters with homemade boats constructed with only cardboard and duct tape in the hopes of making it across the 25-yard pond at the Eagle Eye Golf Course.

Although crossing the water in cardboard vessels wasn’t the only challenge competitors faced. Associates that came out to celebrate the Navy’s birthday and watch the races were allowed to help their favorite teams along by distracting the competitors with biodegradable water balloons offered through DSCC’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation office.

Jon Ferguson, skipper for the Moby D, said that the water balloons did their job. “At one point, my mission no longer was to get across but to catch the balloons that were being thrown our way and return fire,” Ferguson said.

Dedication and teamwork steered the teams as they spent over 200 hours of effort designing and building their vessels. Teams used 150 rolls of duct tape and more than 50 pounds of cardboard.

Inspiration for the boats came from many places. Teams used prior year design concepts and improved upon them while others turned to their branch of service for inspiration.

Aaron Moyer with the Krusty Lab, the Regatta’s overall winner, said they used past designs as inspiration but wanted something fun everyone could identify with and that’s when his children and teammate’s grandchildren suggested a Sponge Bob-themed vessel.

The theme was definitely a hit with many of the kids at the event as they posed with the boat for photos.

The winner of this year’s Titanic Award, the SS Hott Mess’s captain Morgan Stein, said she thought they were going to win it all. Their design was originally a raft inspired by the carpet cardboard rolls that did well in the previous year; however, the team decided to add the walls at the last minute to display the vessel’s name.

Stein said “the boat was heavy to start with but once wet, was even heavier. I appreciated the assistance by the fire department in rescuing myself, my teammate and the boat.”

After an afternoon of sea activities, participants and bystanders received a treat, birthday cake.

Keeping the celebration going, Skubic and the winning shipmates, Aaron Moyer and Lee Shull, participated in the ceremonial cutting of the birthday cake using a military sword. 

Attendees mingled with the crews as they celebrated the Navy’s birthday, enjoyed their sweet treats and discussed their favorite parts of the regatta.

Skubic closed out the events with a challenge to the crowd, “Anybody that didn’t enter this year, you’re now inspired by those fabulous designs and we hope to see you on the water next year.”

Learn more about the teams and this year’s winners:

Event photos are available to DLA Land and Maritime associates

First Race

  • USS Boaty McBoatface (BMcB-242) Boaty Mcboatface
    • Paddled by Lt. Fox and Lt. Cmdr. Sargent
    • Representing: USN
    • Notes:
      • Paddlers bring seven years of commissioned "at sea" experience
      • 13 rolls of duct tape used   


  • SS Hott Mess: The 2017 Titanic Winner  SS Hott Mess
    • Paddled by Morgan Stein and Brittany Holt
    • Representing: MACC
    • Notes: 
      • First-time participants 
      • The only culture council to brave the fierce currents of the Golf Course Pond



  • DDG-1000 Goin’ Quakers DDG-1000 Goin' Quakers
    • Paddled by John Chenault and Andi Motley
    • Representing: FMT
    • Notes: 
      • One of three crews to sink last year



  •  Oorah AV Oorah AV
    • Paddled by Master Sgt. Smith and Maj. Thompson
    • Representing: USMC
    • Notes: 
      • Last minute entry 
      • Spent six hours on boat the night before 
      • Only two Marines at DSCC

Second Race

  • The Winning Ticket The Winning Ticket
    • Paddled by Col. Hang and Col. Farrand
    • Representing: USA
    •  Notes: 
      • Significant Cardboard Regatta Experience – same Army paddlers from last year where they won their first heat and advanced to the finals



  • The Krusty LabThe Krusty Lab – The 2017 Overall Winner
    • Paddled by Aaron Moyer and Lee Shull
    • Representing: TM
    • Notes: 
      • Last year’s winner 
      • 25 rolls of duct tape used



  • Moby D Moby D
    • Paddled by Joshua Anderson and Jon Ferguson
    • Representing: D


  • V-Ville Rock You V-Ville Rock You
    • Paddled by Todd Lewis and James Eschmeyer
    • Representing: V


Third Race

  • Big Blue Big Blue
    • Paddled by Lt. Col. Harnly and Master Sgt. Thapa
    • Representing: USAF
    • Notes: 
      • Goal to improve on last year’s performance where the paddler tried to swim his boat across the pond after sinking but only made it halfway


  • USS Columbus (CA-74) USS Columbus (CA-74)
    • Paddled by Command Master Chief Wright and Cmdr. Martin
    • Representing: NRD
    • Notes: 
      • First year participant



  • Mighty IKE – The 2017 People’s Choice Award Winner Mighty IKE
    • Paddled by Dan Hogue and Terry Thacker
    • Representing: Maritime
    • Notes: 
      • Constructed in Pickerington Naval Shipyard on-time and on-budget 
      • Two-time People’s Choice award winner (2015, 2016)
      • Dan Hogue actually served on IKE (CVN-69)


  • The Spirit of WhimSea The Spirit of WhimSea
    • Paddled by Darren Minter and Michael Lanning
    • Representing: BA