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Ohio River Boat Races Hit Marietta Levee July 9-10

Riverfront Roars Into The Ohio River For 11th Straight Year

July 6, 2011
Wetzel Chronicle
The summer is heating up with annual events in downtown Marietta, Ohio. The second weekend in July offers a number of special events worth checking out.

The hottest race boats in the world will unleash full-bore exhilaration during the 11th annual Marietta Riverfront Roar Powerboat Superleague Races July 9-10 along the Ohio River levee.

Raw horsepower riding on the water’s edge, powering through turns at top speed, streaking down the straights at an average 115 mph. That’s Powerboat Superleague, the world’s oldest and the nation’s most respected tunnel boat circuit.

There are activities and events scheduled throughout the weekend to complement the power boat races including the Marietta Merchants and Artists Walk throughout downtown and Historic Harmar Village, the 5k Run/Walk for the Roar, fireworks, and much more.

For a complete list of activities, visit or call the Marietta/Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-288-2577.

A top-notch field of the world’s best tunnel boat drivers is scheduled for the Marietta Riverfront Roar powerboat Regatta, stop number three on the eight-event national 2011 Superleague tour.

Teams, adding to their year-long quest for high points, as well as racing for event purse and prizes, will test themselves against each other and the Ohio River along the levee in downtown Marietta.

Superleague presents a formidable package of on-water motor sports excitement, bringing to the river cities what has been recognized as the wave of the future in powerboat racing.

The non-profit group, Marietta Riverfront Roar Inc. and its all-volunteer committee, produces the local event. Marietta and the Roar were chosen by Powerboat Superleague teams to receive the prestigious Best Site in years past in recognition of the standards of excellence the local communities, the sponsors, the area governments, and the committee have developed.

Race central is the levee in historic downtown Marietta, overlooking the Ohio River. The race course, a tour-de-force rectangle, has been designed to showcase the remarkable turning capabilities of the tunnel boats, keeping the action up close and right in front of the fans.

Race fans can expect fast, free, fun both Saturday and Sunday. Come downtown on Friday evening and see the boats, meet the drivers, and enjoy the Friday night activities around town. Saturday morning marks the beginning of on-water events with testing at 10 a.m., followed by racing at approximately 1 p.m.

Racing continues on Sunday with the last chance qualifiers at 1 p.m. followed by the Vadiken Championship finals at approximately 2 p.m. There will be the usual mix of interesting displays, food vendors, and entertainment along with all of the sights and shops of the historic downtown district, to provide plenty of fun for the entire family.

Powerboat Superleague tunnel boats are capable of reaching and sustaining speeds between 90 MPH and 120 MPH on the straightaway and pulling 3Gs while turning. Accelerating from zero to 100 MPH in under six seconds, these sleek race craft can corner turns without losing speed, through the perfect balance of aerodynamic hull design coupled with a power-trim outboard high-performance engine. The horsepower-to-weight ratio allows the boats to reach their incredible speeds.

From the modified LeMans start to the checkered flag finish, it’s nose-to-nose, deck-to-deck, heart-stopping action during the annual running of the Marietta Riverfront Roar on the Ohio river at downtown Marietta’s historic levee, professional powerboat racing - Superleague style.

Outboard Performance Craft (OPC) Vintage Race Boats will have a display on Front Street in Marietta. A group of former drivers and owners have agreed to come to Marietta during the 11th annual Riverfront Roar with their vintage outboard racing boats.

“It’s an opportunity that we don’t want to miss,” explained Roger Hinsdale, owner of an O’Berry Marine Molinari/Johnson RS, “The reputation of Powerboat Superleague and the efforts of the local Roar committee makes this an invitation that’s impossible to ignore.”

Hinsdale is coming up from Spring City, Tenn., and he expects a few more retired racers and their boats to join him for the annual Roar on the beautiful Ohio River — Superleague vintage style. While there is a large contingent of antique and vintage inboard type race boats, the outboard engine division has not been developed.

There are plenty of boats, some undergoing restoration and some in perfect condition. Owners (most of them also former and current drivers) are excited about the ability to share their racing experiences and display their boats.


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