Maritime Supplier Operations’ Spinacher Cruises to Victory at Navy Birthday Cardboard Regatta

By DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Smooth paddling by 'Popeye' and 'Olive Oyl' propelled the Spinacher to victory at the annual Navy Cardboard Regatta Oct. 11 at the Defense Supply Center Columbus Eagle Eye Golf Course pond. The boat race was hosted by Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime to celebrate the Navy’s 248th birthday. The unassuming canoe-shaped boat was built by a large team from DLA Maritime Supplier Operations and piloted by Contract Specialists Michael Blaha (Popeye) and Caitlin Ferry (Olive Oyl). It glided easily to victory in both its heats, leaving the rest of the field in its wake. 

Eleven teams started the day with high hopes and anticipation that their highly decorated and themed boats made of nothing but cardboard and duct tape would stand up to the challenge ahead: surviving a preliminary heat against two to three boats and if they were lucky enough to stay afloat and come out on top there, a final heat to determine the ultimate winner. Each heat also had the added challenge of ducking a barrage of soft-shelled ‘munitions’ in the form of water balloons thrown from over 100 spectators surrounding the course.

The event is traditionally held on or close to the Navy’s birthday – Oct. 13, 1774 – returned much to everyone’s delight after a four-year hiatus. Similar events like the COVATTA were held in 2020 and 2021 but the last full-sized regatta was in 2019.

This year’s birthday theme was “248 years of Power, Presence and Protection” which highlighted the Navy's historical and long-standing commitment to being forward deployed, highly trained and dedicated to defending American interests at sea, on land and in the sky.

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