Hydroplane race set for Labor Day weekend
By Patriot staff
Webster - More than 70 hydroplane powerboats will compete in the Second Annual Thunder on the Lake Race September 1 and 2, with some of them speeding atop the water at 160 miles an hour.
Local racer Mike Grendell and the Webster Lake Hydroplane Racing Association are gearing up for this year’s race, which will again be largely funded by the American Canadian Hydroplane Racing Association. Grendell hopes to see participation at the event grow from last year and have it become one of the top race sites in the US, he said.
The two day-long events takes place at Memorial Beach, giving spectators a great view of the race. There will be food and souvenir vendors, as well as a beer garden. “We’re happy that the town allowed us to have a beer tent this year,” said Grendell.
The association is lining up local providers for the services the race requires, including the cranes, tents, fencing, and communications, to support the local economy. The 70 race teams that come in for the weekend also boost local business. They all need to sleep and eat, Grendell notes.
Grendell himself has participated in nine races so far this year with his two hydroplane boats, one a 2.5-Liter, the other a Grand Prix class boat which he bought this spring. His first time out on it, in a race in Stuart, Florida, in April, he flipped upside down going 145 miles an hour. From the Stuart News, “'I hit a roller, and a gust of wind caught me under the right sponson and over I went.' The boat took off into the air, rolled over toward its left, landed on its roof, then somehow bounced to wind up right-side up. The cockpit cover was broken. Grendell collected his senses and stood up, eliciting applause from the concerned crowd of onlookers.”
Grendell has named both of his racing boats “Bad Influence.”
His team has done well in the races. “We’ve had a great year so far,” he said. The 2.5 class boat has had two wins this year, in Syracuse, NY, and Kent Island in Maryland. The Grand Prix class is 7th in high points in the country. “We’re consistent, finish every race, and accumulate points, competing against people with $100,000 budgets.”
Last year’s race was popular with local residents, and Grendell believes spectator numbers will increase as the word spreads. The town hall got some great response from last year’s attendees. See box.
- Tuesday, 07 August 2012
- Posted in Categories: : News