After an absence of nine years, power boat racing will be showcased on the Ohio River this weekend in New Martinsville.
The New Martinsville Power Boat Records Challenge will be held Saturday and Sunday at the site of the old New Martinsville Regatta which was staged from 1938-2003. Some 63 national and world records were set at the New Martinsville course.
Racers will be seeking to set records over a quarter-mile straightaway course, which the sanctioning American Power Boat Association recently allowed for new standards. The old Regatta race course was one kilometer. The new distance will guarantee records will be set by the first boats running in each of the three categories.
There could be as many as 30 boats competing in a total of 25 classes. Categories include Stock, Mod, Pro, Inboard, OPC, Offshore, and Junior Class. The racers can qualify of the prestigious APBA Hall of Champions by winning a championship or setting a new record.
Some of the early entries include Indiana's Ed Hearn, a record holder with 23 nominations to the Hall of Champions; Maryland veteran Larry Lautterbuch, a championship competitor; and the father-son Florida duo of Rob and Terry Rinker, defending champions in two classes and members of the Hall of Champions.
Boats could begin racing at 7 a.m. each morning, depending on weather conditions.
In addition to the racing, there are multiple free activities and entertainment planned for Saturday and Sunday.
The opening ceremonies will be at 11 a.m. Saturday with the American Legion and Sean Maxwell. Also on Saturday, inflatable entertainment for children, face painting, live marble making, Lion's Club children's games, and the Bubble wagon will be on Main Street from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Those are the same times for the New Martinsville Regatta Museum set up in the Shiben Building. Artisans and crafters will be set up from noon to 6 p.m.
The entertainment in the parking lot beside Occasions will be The Get Down Band, sponsored by ArtsLink, at 11:30 a.m.; Long Reach Bluegrass Band, sponsored by the American Legion, at 3 p.m.; and Streamline Band from 5-7 p.m. Spike Riel is scheduled to emcee that day, joined later by Carman Harman.
Sunday will feature a soup cookoff from 1-4 p.m. There will also be crafts and artisans during those times and a canine demonstration at 3:30 p.m. There will also be opening ceremonies at noon. The museum, marble making, inflatable entertainment for children, Lion's Club children's games, face painting, and Bubble Wagon will be in operation from noon to 5 p.m.
Musical entertainment will be Matt Poling, acoustic guitar, 12:30 p.m.; Johnny Mensore, 2:30 p.m.; and Days Later Band, 5-7 p.m.
Other information is available from Sherron Winer at 304-455-2049 or Deanna McConaughey at 304-455-2475.