5K attend first Clark County powerboat races

An estimated 5,000 people attended the first Formula 1 powerboat race held in Springfield, which local leaders are hopeful will return next year.

However some neighbors were upset by the loud noise created by the event.

RELATED: Powerboat races captivate area crowds

The inaugural Springfield F1 Grand Prix was held at the 125-acre lake at Clark County Fairgrounds last weekend, the culmination of a long-effort to bring water sports to the site.

“You can’t ask for a better weekend or a better opening event,” said Springfield native Dana Potts, who owns B2B Motorsports. The Northeastern High School graduate worked to coordinate and promote the event.

The event is already in discussions about coming back next year, Potts said. Other classes have already inquired about bringing more races to the fairgrounds, he said.

“The community was really behind this to make it something special and I felt that across the board,” Potts said. “I’m proud of my hometown for pulling it off … I think we can take it to the next level.”

MORE: Lake events at Clark County Fairgrounds could bring in millions

The three-day event featured two full days of racing in three classes — F-1, F-lights and J-Hydros — as part of the NGK F1 Powerboat Championship. Testing, practice and an education day were held Friday, followed by qualifying and heat races Saturday and the race day finals on Sunday.

The race was previously held in Detroit for decades and will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network later this year, Fairgrounds Executive Director Dean Blair said. Between 20 and 25 boats participated, one of six sanctioned races televised this year.

The racers and announcers went on and on about the attendance and the venue, Blair said.

“They loved the fairgrounds … They loved the water,” he said.

The lagoon at the fairgrounds allows racers to load the next heat into the water during an ongoing race, Blair said, making it more efficient to operate the event.

RELATED: Upper Valley Mall owner surprised by $44M sports proposal for site

“The downtime between events is next to none,” he said. “They were actually ahead of schedule each day because of that … I could go on and on with positive feedback.”

Camping and tailgate sites were sold out, Blair said. Organizers already have received questions about when tailgate sites will go on sale next year, he said.

Next year the fairgrounds is also scheduled to host the Solar Splash collegiate solar boat championship in June.

Some residents who live nearby were upset about the noise from the powerboat races, Springfield Twp. resident Dawn Wells said. While one boat was tested last year, she said it sounded much different during the race. Wells has lived on the corner of Bird and Laybourne roads for 43 years.

“When you have two or three running and cranking, it’s bad,” Wells said.

RELATED: Powerboats hit Clark County Fairgrounds lake for national race

The noise lasted from about 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Blair said, and he believed it wasn’t any louder than the tractor pull held annually at the fairgrounds.

Wells said the tractor pull doesn’t sound as loud to her.

The powerboat races also caused more traffic to drive down her road, she said, especially late at night.

“I’m all for helping the community and this was not helping the community,” Wells said.

Champions Center Executive Director David Halverson told the Springfield News-Sun he had no complaints from participants during its Best of the Best barrel races at horse arena on the fairgrounds last weekend.


Springfield pool loses money but brings in 340K visits after 10 years

New Carlisle library to expand hours, hire more staff

Vaughn appointed to be next Clark County Juvenile Court judge

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Why isn't the Google's art selfie feature available in two states?
Why isn't the Google's art selfie feature available in two states?

Google’s new Arts & Culture App has been insanely popular over the last week -- and no, it’s not because people are wanting to brush up on their art history skills (though it’s good for that, too). It’s because there’s a hilarious feature where you can upload a photo of yourself and the app will match your face with a...
Boston University study finds repeated hits to the head can cause CTE, without concussions
Boston University study finds repeated hits to the head can cause CTE, without concussions

Kimberly Archie was pleased to hear about the new findings on chronic brain injuries released by Boston University on Thursday.  Doctors at BU have found constant hits to young athletes – even without concussions – cause Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE.  Archie says this better explains how her son died. “I...
3-month-old girl exposed to heroin, taken to hospital
3-month-old girl exposed to heroin, taken to hospital

Police arrested a woman after they say she exposed her baby to fentanyl. But she told investigators that's not the drug she thought she was using. The baby had to be flown to Children's Hospital from Uniontown. Crystal Cumberland is in jail and facing charges including aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child. According to Pennsylvania...
Soldier from Clark County is missing from Fort Drum, New York
Soldier from Clark County is missing from Fort Drum, New York

Spc. Trevor Nichols, a soldier from Clark County, is missing from Fort Drum, N.Y., and a national organization is asking for the public's help in finding him.  "I see absolutely nothing that says foul play" or suicide, Brenda Paradise, a private investigator who volunteers for Guardian Search and Investigations.  That organization...
Dog mauls 4-year-old girl, police say
Dog mauls 4-year-old girl, police say

A 4-year-old girl is recovering at a local hospital after she was mauled by a family friend’s dog, police said.  The attack happened Thursday afternoon at the Meadows Mobile Home Park in Melbourne, police said. Police said the girl's mother dropped the girl off to be watched by a family friend and another woman. The family friend left and...
More Stories