Last updated: August 25. 2013 7:49AM - 53 Views

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CELINA — Bragging rights to the largest inland lake in Ohio is only half the reason boaters return annually to the Governor’s Cup Regatta on Grand Lake St. Marys.



“We have a reputation of being a fun place for racers to go. The people in this area do everything in their power to make certain the boaters have a good time. Everybody here has bought into the idea of the regatta, and the boaters always tell us wherever they go, they’re treated nice,” said Tom Saddler, organizer of the event.



And not just the boaters who buy into the event.



The local population is expected to grow by about 30,000 for the two-day event.



“It’s all free, which we expect will bring a lot of people around. And, the racing goes on for for 10 hours each day, two days,” Saddler said.



And this weekend, the 10-mile long, 3-mile wide lake will host about 80 boats for the hydroplane boat race. For those nursing a need for speed, Saddler said he anticipates “the fastest boat will go about 150 miles an hour, and the slowest will probably go about 90 miles an hour.”



Along with the racing, there will be plenty of vintage hydroplanes on display, some dating back to the original Governor’s Cup in 1958.



“There are people who enjoy the vintage hydroplanes like they would vintage cars,” Saddler said.



Additionally, the vintage boats will hit the water daily for a blast-from-the-past ride.



“As for the racing, we’re running the same seven classes we normally do, which will keep the racing fans happy,” Saddler said.



“Anybody who wants a good time can bring a lawn chair and watch as much, or do as much, as they want to do, all for free,” Saddler said. “It’s going to be a good time. These boats are big, they’re fast, and they make a lot of noise.”



 



What: Governor’s Cup Regatta 2009



When: Saturday and Sunday



Where: Grand Lake St. Marys, Lakeshore Park, Celina



Cost: Free



How to go: Bring a lawn chair and find a good spot along Lake Shore Drive and West Bank Road. Concessions are available along Lake Shore Drive.



 



Saturday



9 a.m.: Hot laps (time trials)



9 a.m.: Pancake breakfast



Noon: Opening ceremony



Noon: Heat racing



Noon to 11 p.m.: Beer tent, with Country Mile from 5 to 8 p.m.



 



Sunday



9 a.m.: Hot laps (time trials)



9 a.m.: Pancake breakfast



Noon: Heat racing



Noon: Beer tent



5:30 p.m.: Trophy presentation



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