Welcome to the Cardboard Cup Regatta 30th Anniversary

The America’s Cardboard Cup Regatta is an annual event that is filled with fun for the entire family. No matter if you’re an avid sportsman or a novice, you are guaranteed to enjoy participation in the Cardboard Cup. Best of all proceeds from the event are given to local charities that support a variety of causes and services for those less fortunate.


The Regatta is held on the fourth Saturday of June at Main Beach in Crystal Lake, Illinois. Gates open at 9:00am with races starting at noon. It’s easy to participate and boats can be constructed in advance of race day. After May 1st of each year, 8’ x 8’ sheets of cardboard are available at the Crystal Lake Park District’s Maintenance Garage (located in the Main Beach Parking Lot) free of charge thanks to the generous donation from American Eagle Packaging.

Pre-constructed boats can be registered ahead of time or on race day. Registration and day of event boat inspection begin at 9:00am at the Main Beach Boat Launch located at the North end of the park. There are a variety of competitions in which participants can compete in depending on the age of the participant and the method of propulsion. Trophies are awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for each class and participation category.


Awards are subject to change every year, but below are some to the categories that a boat may be entered into.

Fastest Boat Trophies

Class A – Paddle/Oar powered (One to Ten people)
Class B – Mechanical Powered (peddle, etc)
Class C – Sail Powered
Class – D – Kwiki Boat (Built with special kit provided day of event, Paddle/Oar powered)
Class K - Kiddie Cup, Ages 5 to 10 (Paddle/Oar powered)
Geezer Cup – Participants 50 years and older (Paddle/Oar powered)

Participation Awards

Most Spectacular Sinking – sink and look good
Most Enthusiastic Crew – this includes the sailing and land-based crews
Stars & Stripes – the boat with the most patriotic theme
Most Creative Theme – the boat that most creatively expresses a theme
Most Attractive – looking good
People’s Choice Award – Voted on by spectators the day of event
Ugliest Boat – not looking good