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Power boats coming to North Bay for big July event

Powerboat racing is coming to North Bay.

North Bay is hosting speed boat racing on July 13th and 14 through the Ontario Power Boat Racing Association.

Brent Valois, one of the original founders of the OPBRA and the organization’s secretary, says the racing will take place on Lake Nipissing.

Valois is expecting 40 to 50 boaters from Ontario and two Americans to take part in the event.

Racing involves two classifications.

One is the stock class where Valois says speeds can hit 65 mph to 75 mph.

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And then there’s the outlaw class.

“Here speeds are in excess of 100 miles per hour,” Valois said.

OPBRA events easily attract 10,000 spectators and it’s the first time the event is taking place in North Bay.

Valois was made aware of the possibility of racing in North Bay by a local resident.

At the time he wasn’t sure what Lake Nipissing would be like, so there had to be research into the conditions.

“Lake Nipissing is a beautiful lake and lovely to be out on,” he said.

“But it can certainly be angry when it wants to.”

Valois says OPBRA examined seven years of lake data covering the summer months and from that data, mid-July appeared the best time to hold the event.

The event is free to the public.

Valois says racing involves double elimination and boaters race in pairs of two during the heats over an 800-foot course.

The eliminations continue until the final two boats in the various classifications are left and one is finally declared the winner.

There is also a weekend winner with the power boat owner who accumulates the most points during racing on the Saturday and Sunday.

Valois says the public isn’t only limited to watching the power boat races from land.

He says for boat owners, they’ll be able to anchor in pre-determined spots and watch the racing from the water.



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