Drag Boat Racing Coming to Cedar River in September
By Dave Franzman, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The thunder of boats hitting more than 100-miles-per-hour will echo along the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids next month.
The Cedar Boat Club is hosting an afternoon of Drag Boat racing entitled “Fire on the River” on Saturday, September 7th. The speedy boats will compete on a course running from the Ellis Boat Harbor to the ski show platform near Ellis Pool. Drag Boat practice will begin as early as 10:00 a.m. on the 7th with racing beginning at 1:00 p.m. and running until approximately 5:00 p.m.
Organizers said they just got permission from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to close that section of the Cedar River for the racing boats on that Saturday. Kevin Curl, a boat club board member, said because of the late permission, it won’t be possible to promote the racing boats for very long before the race. But he hopes the excitement, and free viewing along the river, will bring out a good first year crowd.
“People will be looking for a fireworks show and that’s combined with the boat parade we do. We’re doing advertising with our sponsors, so we’re hoping to get a few thousand people at least,” Curl said.
The boat club traditionally hosts a lighted “Venetian Night” boat parade and fireworks show every August on the Cedar River by the Ellis Boat Harbor. This year, Curl said the parade and fireworks will follow the Drag Boat racing. Boat club members said if this first year of racing is successful, they’ll combine the racing, boat parade and fireworks on future dates as well, probably in September. Curl said the DNR is more receptive to closing a section of the river after Labor Day rather than before.
Details for those interested in racing their own boats are available at www.cedarboatclub.org.
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