By Adam Prudhomme
Beaver Lake will be hopping with fast, wave-running action this weekend.
That’s when the Ron Collins Memorial Powerboat Races event will make its return with plenty of high speed action out on the lake. Held at Lions Park, the shoreline will offer a great view as speed boaters jockey for position in a condensed, three lap circular course.
“There will be about 20 heats of racing each day,” said event organizer Doug Overbury. “There’s roughly 10 classes that run of two heats per class and the speeds run anywhere from the junior class that’s about 50 kilometre an hour to the higher speed classes which get up to about 140 km/h.”
Though speed is a factor, Overbury says it’s not always the fastest boat that wins. There’s quite a bit of strategy that goes into each race.
“Everybody has to be in the right spot when the clock hits zero,” said Overbury of the start of a race. “If you cross the start line before the clock hits zero, you’re disqualified. There’s an awful lot of skill in just starting and it’s a fairly short course so it’s a tough race to win.”
Beaver Lake has been home to this event for the last decade and it draws racers from the northern United States, Quebec and all across Ontario.
“These are outboard hydroplanes that require pretty flat water,” Overbury says of an ideal racing course. “Beaver Lake is protected well enough from the winds and it’s the right size. And also the launching area is great, the restaurant (Lakeview Tavern) being right there, it’s great and being in the township itself is a positive thing.”
Admission to the races are free for spectators.
Along with the races, on Saturday there will be a crafters market followed by a classic car show on Sunday.
The races will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.