Powerboats to race in St. Clair River this weekend

Powerboat Festival Aug. 14, 2016 (BlackburnNews.com photo by Dave Dentinger)

Over 50 powerboat teams from across the United States are expected to participate in the St. Clair River Classic this weekend.

The 28th annual event is being held from Friday to Sunday and features four, sanctioned, offshore powerboat races on the last day.

United States Coast Guard Sector Detroit Petty Officer Andrew Escobedo said boat traffic will be impacted.

“All U.S. waters of the St. Clair River, bounded by latitude 42 degrees 50 to the North, and latitude 42 degrees 48 to the South, the shoreline of the St. Clair River on the West and the international boundary line on the East, will all be restricted to recreational vessel traffic from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. local,” said Escobedo.

The American event usually attracts a large crowd on the Canadian side of the river, with people lining the shore of the almost six and a half kilometre long course from Mooretown to south of Courtright.

(St. Clair River Classic course, photo courtesy of oparacing.org.)

Escobedo said temporary raised buoys will be in place.

“No recreational vessel may enter, transit through, or anchor within the regulated area without the permission of the coast guard patrol commander from station Port Huron. Once you start seeing coast guard boats out there starting to put stuff out, I’d say that it’s probably best to move out of those areas.”

Teams will test their boats in the river from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The first race is tentatively scheduled for noon Sunday, with the next three starting at 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.