Nearly 300 spectators were on hand Saturday as the first Hernando Beach Cardboard Boat Race launched from Hernando Beach Marina. The race was sponsored by the marina, the Hernando Beach Marine Safety Support Group and Allstar Awards & Trophies, with proceeds going toward boating education and marine environmental issues. Ten vessels took to the water, with some proving more worthy than others. Donna Lawrence of Spring Hill was among those in the audience. "I didn't think any of them would float that long, but they surprised me," Lawrence said. Jackie Farmer, who coordinated the event, said the purpose was to show people what coastal Hernando County has to offer. "The event turned out a lot better than I expected, and the impact was quite substantial for Hernando Beach," she said.