Powerboats set to race on Lake Erie’s waters

More than 20 boats of all powers and sizes will be on the waters of Lake Erie next weekend — a number that could intensify, says Kris Mendeszoon.

“Our main headquarters is going to be the Chagrin Tavern marina in Eastlake, but we’re going to have boats on display in Eastlake Thursday evening (July 15),” said Mendeszoon, one of the organizers of the powerboat race scheduled for July 18. “I believe we are going to have boats on display in Downtown Willoughby Saturday Evening (July 17).”

The schedule of events for the powerboat race start July 14 and will go until race day July 18. Boats will start arriving throughout the day July 14 and will then compete in five races on July 18. Sponsors of the race include Eastlake, Willoughby, Chagrin Tavern, the Chagrin Tavern marina, SD Motorsports, Achilles Running Shop, Excalibur Auto Body, the Lake County Visitors Bureau and Motel 6.

Community members and spectators will have the opportunity to meet captains of the boats along with photography opportunities. Back in the day, races took place through Michigan, several race sites in Ohio and into Erie, Pa., as well as Buffalo, Mendeszoon said.

“I think everybody is tired of being cooped up. People haven’t been able to experience sports as much as they have in the past,” Mendeszoon said. “It could 20,000 to 30,000 people. Hopefully, next year, we can shift the course where it could be a little bit more on land, user friendly. We have a load of boaters in our region that will be out on the lake watching.”

According to the Offshore Powerboat Association, offshore powerboat racing is possibly the most dangerous, yet one of the most exciting forms of motorsports today. Offshore racing draws a wide variety of fans and interest from companies as the boats themselves are high performance works of art designed to race on a course that has an ever changing surface.

“People love the sounds of the boat engines firing and the speed, but the changing of the water,” Mendeszoon said. “Great Lakes, especially Lake Erie, are known for how fast it can churn up. It’s not a set pattern.”

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