Powerboat action to make waves on Head Lake

By Sue Tiffin

Published Aug 7 2017

Speed-loving spectators will have the chance to watch plenty of action on Head Lake on Aug. 18 and 19 when about 70 racers take to the water in hydroplanes and runabouts in races with speeds from 30 miles per hour to 85 miles per hour.

The Toronto Outboard Racing Club is hosting the Haliburton Outboard Powerboat Races sanctioned by the Canadian Boating Federation for the fourth year in a row and promise plenty to see even from the shoreline.

On Aug. 17 a meet and greet for the event will take place at Head Lake Park from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Visitors to the event will be able to meet the racers and their crews and get an up-close look at their boats and trailers. A selection of antique boats will be on display as well.

“You can’t touch them but you can get close enough to look at them” said organizer Barb Hammond. “They’re unique boats.”

During the races guests to the event can see the spray of water as boats speed through it and can see racers that operate the boats from a lay-down position. Winning boats are weighed and inspected a process that spectators are able to observe as well.

“It’s pretty exciting to watch” said Hammond.

Racers are aged seven to 77 and include local racers like Hammond’s adult children as well as visitors from Michigan and New York.

The event is free to onlookers but raises money for the Haliburton Hospital Auxiliary through a prize raffle and this year spectators are being asked to remember to bring an item for a food bank donation. Food booths are available including a booth run by the local Lions Club.

“We appreciate the fact that not everybody likes the noise of it but the town’s been very good and it’s good for the community to bring all of these people in and put Haliburton on the map” said Hammond.

The event does make use of the Head Lake public boat launch which means it is closed to the general public over the weekend but event sponsor RPM offers their boat launch at 5122 County Road 21 free of charge for those getting their boats into the water on Saturday or Sunday. Youngdale Fuels sponsors the kids categories.

The races will be held on Saturday Aug. 18 beginning at 10 a.m. and Sunday Aug. 19 beginning at around 11 a.m. Races run until about 5 p.m. on both days.

“It’s a great event it’s free and everybody can relate to boats” said Hammond.

For more information about the Haliburton Outboard Powerboat Races visit www.torc.ca.