Bill took his pencil, designed a whole new craft to compete
In the ‘eighty eight Beer Can Derby, to achieve the feat
Of back-to-back wins in the Apex Club’s Beer Can Race
On the Lauderdale Canal. To once again show their pace
Across that sheltered water in an innovative craft,
Though some would think them cranky or maybe completely daft.
He decided to build a canoe shape from rows of cans
Five metres long with paddlers kneeling inside as the plans
Would show. Double rows of cans along the keel would be the go,
With single rows to form the sides, – a work of art you know.
The kids collected cans each day that were taped together
With duct tape to keep us afloat whatever the weather.
Paddles would be the form of propulsion for the canoe.
And though not in the plans – was water ballasted too!
When the crew knelt inside the canoe sank down in the brine,
Covered their knees, the increased stability suited them fine
A semi submersible, thus increasing their chance to complete
The course, and water-cooled you might say, which is rather neat!
Nigel and Bill would crew as before, to defend the title
They’d won last time, but it would be absolutely vital
That their craft was competitive with its unique design,
However Race Day was here with no time left to refine.
A gentle breeze blew down the canal as competitors took
Their place on the start line, – such a magnificent look!
The whistle blew and the paddles flew the race had begun,
A head wind blew as they paddled away in the sun.
The waves created by the wind affected the school’s canoe,
It conformed to the shape of the waves as water serpents do.
Bill and Nige stroked rhythmically riding the waves in their craft,
Less affected by the wind than other competitors’ rafts.
The final leg saw them lead as they surged homeward to the line,
Victory to the school team, whose craft and crew combined
To win the Cascade Beer Can Derby. The prize collected,
Then taken from the course, to share with staff as expected,
The taste of amber fluid. – A good time had by all.
They relived the race and toasted friends with their new windfall.
As the afternoon’s winning festivities drew to a close
There lay stretched out on the trailer in splendid repose
The proud beer can canoe that had helped them win so well.
The sun‘s effect on the bonding tape soon began to tell
And slowly, quietly the ends slumped tiredly to the road.
Memories remain. The Final Beer Can Derby had been rowed.
Bill Edmunds, January 2022