Regatta honors Colonel Crawford educator, challenges competitors


Rhonda Bletner - [email protected]



Educator Mike Cauley had the Cardboard Boat Regatta named for him in honor of his hard work and dedication during his 47 years of service to the Colonel Crawford local schools and Pioneer Career and Technology Center. Cauley was unable to attend due to health concerns but participating in recognizing his serve were, from left, Colonel Crawford Supt. Todd Martin, High School Principal Jacob Bruner, Cauley’s wife Melinda Cauley and MC, 50-year friend of Cauley, and retired superintendent and educator Ted Bruner.

Educator Mike Cauley had the Cardboard Boat Regatta named for him in honor of his hard work and dedication during his 47 years of service to the Colonel Crawford local schools and Pioneer Career and Technology Center. Cauley was unable to attend due to health concerns but participating in recognizing his serve were, from left, Colonel Crawford Supt. Todd Martin, High School Principal Jacob Bruner, Cauley’s wife Melinda Cauley and MC, 50-year friend of Cauley, and retired superintendent and educator Ted Bruner.


Rhonda Bletner | Inquirer

Ontario teacher Doug Basham said it’s not necessary to duct tape the inside of the boat to protect it. “What happened is their walls didn’t have enough layers, so their walls folded up like a taco. When he sat in, the water came up over the walls. I’m actually a proponent of not putting duct tape on the inside because the more duct tape you put inside, the heavier your boat is.” And if the boat takes on too much water, carry it/swim with it back to the finish. Part of the day’s challenge, in addition to how fast you can row, is the design and success of the boat.


Rhonda Bletner | Inquirer

NORTH ROBINSON — Colonel Crawford High School hosted the first annual Mike Cauley Cardboard Boat Regatta Wednesday—the first, because though there have been events in the past, this was the first dedicated to Mike Cauley. Participating were students from Bucyrus, Crestline, Galion, Lucas and Ontario.

“This regatta is a tribute to Mr. Cauley’s hard work and dedication for his 47 years of service to the Colonel Crawford local schools and Pioneer Career and Technology Center. Mr. Cauley helped organize the original cardboard boat races” said Former Colonel Crawford superintendent Ted Bruner.

“Coach Cauley continues to run this event,” he continued. “The coach was unable to be here today because he’s dealing with some health concerns, however his wife Melinda Cauley is here to represent and recognize him. We want to take this time to represent and thank Mr. Cauley for all of his hard work and dedication…in the classroom and for all of the extra curricular activities he was involved in and continues to be involved.”

A total of 34 boats and 97 students participated in the event. See the final winning results below in the categories of Best Engineered Boat, Best Creativity, Most Buoyant, and Fastest Time.

Galion High School Principal Tasha Stanton and Woodshop teacher Bruce Weirich watched the students launch their crafts in the Colonel Crawford pool. The teams are timed, and each individual is timed as well.

“If she didn’t say ‘yes’ to the cardboard [purchase order], we wouldn’t be here,” Weirich said with a laugh. “We had a two-year layoff and now we’re bringing it back. We just have fun with the kids,” he added.

Weirich had 18 students participating from Galion with six boats; three students build a boat.

“We give them three sheets of cardboard and three rolls of duct tape and anything after that, they’re on their own. We give them gray duct tape and if they want to add anything, like colored duct tape, they buy that,” he said. “There’s certain things you want to do to the boat so it doesn’t crash right away, and that takes a little bit of thinking. It’s a great job for the kids.”

The students choose to participate but with the opportunity to get out of school for a day, it’s not a difficult choice.

Ontario teacher Doug Basham had the only group of middle school students at the event and this was their first year participating in the event. Twenty-seven Ontario students participated and they were the only middle school students in the regatta.

“When they’re first creating their boats it’s all problem solving, like they design them on SketchUp, then we build models of them and then we start to actually do the construction,” Basham said. “And a lot of times they will get to the construction part and they realize they can’t actually build the model because it had certain angles they couldn’t get so they had to change as they were going.

“But the whole problem-solving step is whether you’re successful or a failure is what would you do differently to make you boat better. That’s probably our biggest lesson out of this whole thing. Whether we make it or not is what would we do if we did it again,” he added.

Crestline High School Principal Kevin Fourman said approximately 12 students participated from Crestline High School’s Industrial Arts woodshop and Industrial Technology program. “It’s been a couple years since Crestline has participated, not only between the pandemic shutdown but we had a part time program and we were moving that back to a full-time teaching staff program.”

Even administrators took a turn. Colonel Crawford Superintendent Todd Martin and Ontario Middle School Principal Keith Strickler competed in the administrative race with Todd Martin named the Administrative Champion for the 2022 “Mike Cauley” Cardboard Boat Regatta.

Organizers thank Colonel Crawford for hosting the event, Ted Bruner for continuing to MC each year and Lynn Moritz from Pioneer and her media students, Kylie Bloomfield and Harley Thomas, for filming the competition. Pioneer Satellite Engineering Instructors and local Engineering Instructors, Joe Slone – Bucyrus, Rick Keller – Colonel Crawford, Austin Straus – Crestline, Bruce Weirich – Galion, Scott Spitler – Lucas and Doug Basham – Ontario, helped coordinate the event.

High School Results:

Best Engineered Boat: 1st place Colonel Crawford boat #4, 2nd place Colonel Crawford boat #3, 3rd place Crestline boat #4

Best Creativity: 1st Galion boat #2, 2nd Lucas boat #1, 3rd Galion boat #6

Most Buoyant Boat: 1st Crestline boat #4 (621.2 lbs.), 2nd Colonel Crawford boat #3 (477 lbs.), 3rd Bucyrus boat #1 (379.3 lbs.)

Fastest Times High School: 1st Galion boat #6 (162.83 seconds), 2nd Galion boat #2 (180.3 seconds), 3rd Colonel Crawford boat #4 (186.5 seconds)

Educator Mike Cauley had the Cardboard Boat Regatta named for him in honor of his hard work and dedication during his 47 years of service to the Colonel Crawford local schools and Pioneer Career and Technology Center. Cauley was unable to attend due to health concerns but participating in recognizing his serve were, from left, Colonel Crawford Supt. Todd Martin, High School Principal Jacob Bruner, Cauley’s wife Melinda Cauley and MC, 50-year friend of Cauley, and retired superintendent and educator Ted Bruner.
https://www.galioninquirer.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2022/03/web1_IMG-8768.jpgEducator Mike Cauley had the Cardboard Boat Regatta named for him in honor of his hard work and dedication during his 47 years of service to the Colonel Crawford local schools and Pioneer Career and Technology Center. Cauley was unable to attend due to health concerns but participating in recognizing his serve were, from left, Colonel Crawford Supt. Todd Martin, High School Principal Jacob Bruner, Cauley’s wife Melinda Cauley and MC, 50-year friend of Cauley, and retired superintendent and educator Ted Bruner. Rhonda Bletner | Inquirer

Ontario teacher Doug Basham said it’s not necessary to duct tape the inside of the boat to protect it. “What happened is their walls didn’t have enough layers, so their walls folded up like a taco. When he sat in, the water came up over the walls. I’m actually a proponent of not putting duct tape on the inside because the more duct tape you put inside, the heavier your boat is.” And if the boat takes on too much water, carry it/swim with it back to the finish. Part of the day’s challenge, in addition to how fast you can row, is the design and success of the boat.
https://www.galioninquirer.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2022/03/web1_thumbnail_DSC_0472.jpgOntario teacher Doug Basham said it’s not necessary to duct tape the inside of the boat to protect it. “What happened is their walls didn’t have enough layers, so their walls folded up like a taco. When he sat in, the water came up over the walls. I’m actually a proponent of not putting duct tape on the inside because the more duct tape you put inside, the heavier your boat is.” And if the boat takes on too much water, carry it/swim with it back to the finish. Part of the day’s challenge, in addition to how fast you can row, is the design and success of the boat. Rhonda Bletner | Inquirer

https://www.galioninquirer.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2022/03/web1_thumbnail_DSC_0480.jpgRhonda Bletner | Inquirer

https://www.galioninquirer.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2022/03/web1_thumbnail_DSC_0482.jpgRhonda Bletner | Inquirer

Rhonda Bletner

[email protected]