The coronavirus-shortened 2020 season at the Ridley Park Swim Club came to an end on Labor Day with the propelling of cardboard boats across the pool (and a few capsizing) at the Eighth Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta.

Ryan DiNardo, 9, paddles his cardboard boat during at the Ridley Park Swim Club. After a second boat rowed by his brother Justin, 7, capsized, their dad, Joe jumped into the pool to help out.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Ryan DiNardo, 9, paddles his cardboard boat during at the Ridley Park Swim Club. After a second boat rowed by his brother Justin, 7, capsized, their dad, Joe jumped into the pool to help out.

Gov. Tom Wolf did not allow swimming pools to reopen until June 5, but pool board member Nick Crocetto said almost 300 families still joined this summer. They usually get close to a capacity of 400 families, with a waiting list.

The private swim club, nestled in the valley of Little Crum Creek, has been hosting swimmers from all over Delaware County for more than six decades.

Crocetto, who served as “race master,” said: “The kids look forward to this every year. And so do their parents.”

Regatta rules stated: “The boat will consist of cardboard and fasteners only. NO STAPLES. All glue and paint must be water based only. ANY forms of paddles may be used. One paddle per person.”

Chuck Bailey used eight rolls of duct tape (six gray, two black) to construct an unsinkable craft for his son Anthony, 6, and friend Lliam Pidgeon, 4. The boat — made with outriggers after older son Jake’s boat capsized in the race five years ago — was christened “Best Buddies.”