Wednesday, 24 July 2024

High speed skiing, vintage race boats visit Lakeport this weekend

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The raceboats also visited Lakeport last September. File photo by Harold LaBonte.

 



LAKEPORT – For water sport enthusiasts, Library Park is the place to be this weekend.


Two separate events with much in common – the Vintage and Historic Raceboat Regatta and the Nor Cal Ski Club Races – are scheduled to return to the waterfront in Lakeport this Saturday.


The California Speedboat Association will host the Vintage and Historic Raceboat Regatta at the north end of Library Park.


Admission is free to spectators.


The group hosted the event in Lakeport last September. The regatta has been moved to the June date due to concerns about the lake's water level and quality during the later days of summer, according to Vintage Race Director Bob Silva.


Silva’s group is a member of the California Speedboat Association, which in turn shares a connection to the American Power Boat Association.


Thirty-five vintage race boats are expected to be on display with several participating in a well coordinated series of “flybys” and sample races on a set one-mile course.


Boats will be on display all day. The flyby events are scheduled to take place starting at 11:30 am.


Race boats must be built in 1986 or earlier to qualify as vintage. Boat owners wishing to participate are encouraged to attend and registration will continue on site.


Fees for static display are $25. Other fees and regulations will apply for those wishing to run their boats at speed. Owners wishing more information may contact Bob Silva at 707-964-1711 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

 

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Competitors will race at speeds of up to 110 miles per hour. Photo courtesy of the National Water Ski Racing Association.

 

 


Skiers plan fast-paced action


Also on Saturday, the NorCal Ski Club will hold the first of five Lake County high-speed ski events scheduled for 2008.


The racecourse for this event is laid out with two, one-mile straight-aways with a left turn at each end that traverse more than an eighth of a mile.


The skiers will travel as fast as the high performance boats that pull them can, which – depending on conditions – can reach speeds of 110 miles per hour, slowing only to 70 or 80 miles per hour around the turn areas, according to NorCal representative Roger Smith.


Smith, a former deputy sheriff in charge of the Lake County Sheriff's Office Boat Patrol, is a longtime Lake County resident, a lifelong boater and a speed skier himself who plans on participating in several classes of racing this Saturday.


Skiers are eligible to race in several classes, based on age – as young as 9 – along with experience and the type of boat used to pull them, said Smith.


Boat classes range from stock, nearly factory types on through various levels of both inboard and outboard performance levels, eventually leading to the high-speed, high-powered specialty boats capable of reaching 110-mile-per-hour speeds, he explained.


“It’s an extreme sport” – as defined by today’s standards – “and always has been,” said Smith.


It's an extreme sport that over the decades has not been limited to a single gender. Smith added that perhaps Lake County’s most successful speed skier and possibly the best female in the country throughout the 1960’s, Alice Whipple, will compete this weekend.


Saturday’s race schedule begins at 9 a.m. There is no fee to observers.


“Anyone who would like to join in and ski for the first time is welcome to try it at no cost,” said Smith.


Potential skiers should have some basic and obvious skills before attempting to compete.


More information regarding this event and the history of the National Water Ski Racing Association can be found at www.nwsra.net.


The weather forecast for Saturday includes mostly sunny skies with afternoon highs in the low 90s and winds out of the west at 12 miles per hour.


E-mail Harold LaBonte at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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