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Regatta Event May Feature Racing

By Staff | May 15, 2013

From left, Larry Tackett, Dana Tomes, Nelson Hachem, and Don Riggenbach check out Tomes’ raceboat during a recent Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce After Hours event at the former Yacht Club on Main Street, New Martinsville. Tomes plans on returning to New Martinsville for some boating action on Sept. 28 and 29 during the New Martinsville Challenge. If enough sponsorships are obtained, this year’s event will include racing. (Photo by Amy?Witschey)

The New Martinsville Challenge Board of Directors and the Challenge Committee recently hosted, along with The Tin Ceiling and Presto Lunch, a Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce After Hours event at the former Yacht Club on Main Street, New Martinsville.

In addition to fun, food, beverages, and entertainment, the event included a chance to meet Dana Tomes, one of the 2013 Challenge competitors.

The only driver to hail from West Virginia, Tomes joined Powerboat Superleague in 2010 looking for another way to quench his thirst for speed-transitioning from the terra firma track to the liquid mile.

A former NASCAR crew chief and team owner, Tomes found tunnel boat racing to be just the antidote required for additional adrenaline. Piloting a Formula Three rig during the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta over the July 4th weekend (his first race with Superleague) convinced Tomes that he had found a new racing niche. From that point to the end of the 2012 season, Tomes has raced every event working his way into the top ten of his class. A fierce competitor with an engaging personality, Tomes never fails to please the fans and make the racing memorable.

This year (2013 season) Herd Racing will once again campaign in the Superleague Formula Two class.

Tomes, #66, lives in Lesage, W.Va., with his wife Tonya and 11-year-old daughter Hannah. He says the sport is a great family activity. He is sponsored by Frixion Brands, a, apparel company based in Vienna, W.Va., and owned by Alexandra Mendoza, a West Liberty University student; Eco-First.com; and NanoFusion LTD.

In 2012 the Challenge group conducted the first quarter-mile APBA (American Power Boat Association) Records Run for Inboard, Tunnel/OPC and Stock categories of racing. Twenty-eight teams registered and a record-setting 22 records were set.

Additionally there was music, exhibitions, activities for the kids, a variety of food, and a Souper-Sunday cook-off-two full days of fun and powerboat excitement in downtown New Martinsville.

The question of returning New Martinsville West Virginia’s stretch of the Ohio River to record status was answered soundly. Now the group is asking for support in bringing back racing at this year’s event to be held Sept. 28 and 29.

The Challenge group has received many sponsorships for the 2013 event. However, if even more funding could be garnered this year, time trials would take place on Saturday and continue through noon on Sunday. Heats would begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Any civic organization, business, corporation, or individual is encouraged to become a sponsor, so racing can be part of this exciting weekend. Contact Dan McConaughey at 304-780-9824 or Amy Dieffenbauch at 304-455-9757 for sponsorship package information.