Monday, July 19, 2010

Making a Splash

National Race Tour Comes to Lake Hartwell

The Lake Hartwell Marketing Alliance announced a personal watercraft racing tour will roar onto Lake Hartwell August 13-15, 2010. The big Oaks Recreation Area in Georgia will host the Toyota Upstate Watercraft Promotions-International Jet Sport Boating Association (UWP-IJSBA) Tour, one of the nation’s leading personal watercraft racing circuits.
"The event will feature top U.S. and international racers doing battle against one another while negotiating buoys, obstacles and pounding waves at speeds up to 80MPH on the ½ - ¾ mile course," said A.J. Handler, Director of Upstate Watercraft Promotions. He added "this is like motocross on water, closed course racing is handle bar-to handle bar. The course is designed to keep competition tight and fans close to the action."

The event will also feature a freestyle segment "which highlights the acrobatical abilities of the highly specialized athletes and their watercraft. Freestyle features two minute routines in an Olympic-style format in front of a panel of judges. Competitors choreographed tricks are performed to music," said Handler.

"In addition to racing for professional riders, local competitors who have little or no racing experience will also have the chance to compete on the same course," said Handler. The Toyota UVVP-IJSBA Tour consists of six racing weekends. Races are scheduled in Florida, New York (two weekends), Wisconsin, and West Virginia. Racers accumulate points to qualify for the International Jet Sports Boating Association’s World Finals in Lake Havasu, Arizona.
Besides the action on the water, "a beach volleyball tournament is planned during the race weekend, along with vendors, food & drink and an education area on personal watercraft. Admission to the races and other events will be free," said Kathy Benson of the Anderson Convention & Visitors Bureau, Co-Chair of the planning committee.

The Lake Hartwell Marketing Alliance is comprised of 150 tourism professionals and businesses with an interest in the lake. All live or work in the six countries surrounding Lake Hartwell: Anderson, Oconee & Pickens in South Carolina and Hart, Franklin and Stephens in Georgia. "The alliance’s goal is to market the lake and its surrounding region as one destination, disregarding county and state boundaries," said Bill Griggs of docks South, Co-Chair of the planning committee for the event. For more information or for sponsorship call Main Street Toccoa at 706-282-3269.