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Cocktail races will be in Urbanna on May 18

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Cocktail Class racers will test their boats this Saturday, May 11, on Urbanna Creek. Above, local racer Chris Riddick test drives the boat he recently built. (Photo by Micki Clay)

by Tom Chillemi

Powerboat racers are on the homestretch for the first Urbanna Cup Regatta.

Between 30 and 40 boats are expected on Saturday, May 18, for the Cocktail Class Wooden Boat Racing Association regatta. These sleek boats, home-built of plywood and fiberglass, measure about 8 feet in length and weigh between 75 and 95 pounds. There are two engine classes, 6 or 8 horsepower, with a top speed of about 18 and 26 miles per hour, respectively.

Race Schedule
There will be 5 racing classes with up to 6 boats in each heat. The finals in each class will pit the top 6 boats against each other. Each class will run heats and final races that will take a total of about an hour.

  • 9:30 a.m., the Women’s Division is first on the course in 6 horsepower (HP) boats. 

  • 10:45 – 11:45 a.m., the 6 HP Heavy Division runs.

  • Noon – 1 p.m., the Open Division 6 HP will battle.

  • 1:15 – 2:30 p.m. will be the Smith Island Crab Skiffs, with their larger engines and longer boats.

  • 3 – 4:30 p.m., the Open Division 8 HP will be the finale.

The boat races are the main attraction of a day-long event in Urbanna that concludes with live music in Taber Park. “Jumbo Lump Daddy and the Backfin Boys” will perform classic rock from 7 to 9 p.m. in the first concert this season in the “Music Under the Stars” series.

The Urbanna Creek Cocktail Class fleet formed this winter and seven race boats have been built. About 30 other boats are expected to compete in the races, some coming from as far away as Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, South Carolina and Georgia.

Local boats will be tested this Saturday, May 11, on the creek.

“And, they’re off!”
The final layout of the race course will be determined on race day, May 18, depending on tide, wind and harbor traffic, said Curt Bluefeld, a race organizer. The course should be fairly close to the Urbanna Town Marina at Upton’s Point where spectators can watch. 

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“Our courses are generally small, perhaps 100 yards long and wide,” said Bluefeld. “We try to size the course so that a race lasts 2.5 to 3 minutes.”

The preliminary “heat” races consist of three races in each class with six boats in each heat, he explained. Each heat lasts about 15 minutes, then six new boats come out to race. It takes about 10 minutes to clear the course and get new boats in position to race.

Lawrence Fuccella, a race organizer who also has built a race boat, said the U.S. Coast Guard has approved the Urbanna Cup Regatta race venue. USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 62 of Deltaville will send three boats to assist in the on-water activities.

Spectators in boats will be directed to viewing areas. There will be a safety perimeter around the course and spectator boats must stay out of this area.

The official event sponsor is Dozier’s Port Urbanna Town Center Marina.

Another event organizer and racer, John Milby, said a limited number of tables and chairs will be provided and he recommends spectators bring lawn chairs.

Souvenirs, including Urbanna Cup Regatta t-shirts and drinking glasses, will be on sale at the marina.

Catered food by Something Different will be available at the marina, and there will be a “brewery hospitality” area with wine and beer, operated by the Urbanna Business Association.

An information brochure will be available at the town marina.

There will be no spectator parking at the marina or at Oyster Harbor Condominiums. However, there will be golf carts to shuttle spectators from town to the marina.

Find more information at http://www.Urbanna.com or http://www.CCWBRA.com, or call 804-832-4578.

In addition to the Cocktail Class races, Smith Island Crab Skiffs, which are longer and have much larger engines, will compete in separate races.

Related Links:
Urbanna has rich boat race tradition

posted 05.08.2013

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