New Martinsville to host North America boating championship

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Boats race on the Ohio River at New Martinsville, West Virginia, during the 2017 Regattafest.
Boats race on the Ohio River at New Martinsville, West Virginia, during the 2017 Regattafest.

The allure of the Ohio River has won the eighth annual Regattafest at New Martinsville, West Virginia, designation as host of the American Power Boat Association’s North American Championships for SST-120, SST-60, SuperSport, and Thundercats categories September 28-29.

Sherron Winer, an organizer of the event, said the festival continues to grow and that making the case to the association for West Virginia was a pleasure.

“Midway through my presentation, it was easy to see that the votes were going to go in favor of West Virginia,” Winer said.

Thundercats race during the 2017 Regattafest.

“My job was so easy because Regattafest and the mid-to-upper Ohio Valley region has an incredible reputation among teams for fast water, an excellent racing location, super hospitality, a festival that offers more than boat racing, and a professional organization with 34 years of worldwide racing experience to conduct the championship.”

Winer said Regattafest has become the gateway festival for fall activities in the valley, and more than 1,000 spectators are expected to attend this year’s event.

“The weather is usually good, and the board of directors, as well as various committee heads, work year-round to create a full weekend of what has become the hallmark tradition — fast, free, family fun for the entire family,” she said.

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Kids can find plenty to do in the “Kid Zone,” a place full of inflatable, games, and fitness challenges from noon to 4 p.m. daily, and deejay Carmen Harman will be on hand both days to entertain with music during the natural breaks in the racing action.

New this year are the Sunday amateur kayak races, Color-Me-Fast program for kids along with Picture-Me-Fast, a photo opportunity with your favorite team and driver. A car show returns on Saturday, Winer said.

Regattafest has also opened a venue for pets, Pause-for-Paws, with treats and water for furry companions.

The festival is held in historic downtown New Martinsville on the banks of the Ohio River at Fireman’s Park.

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