Clark County Fairgrounds is gearing up for several new boating related events, including a course that allows the public to learn how to drive powerboats.
The American Power Boat Association selected the fairgrounds as the location for its first national driving school, which already has 19 students, according to Dean Blair, executive director of the Clark County Fairgrounds.
Before joining the class, people are required to complete challenges including a dunk test at the Wright State University swimming pool.
At the dunk tests, participants are challenged to escape a six-point harness while upside down in the pool. Divers will be present.
“If you pass all those tests, then you can be in this class (and) be on the lake actually driving a boat,” Blair said.
The driving school is a perfect opportunity for people seeking a “thrill ride experience” or those who want to become professional boat drivers, Blair said.
The fairgrounds is also the filming location for a TV short film produced by the APBA, Blair said.
“We’ll be doing a little test and tune with a couple of the professional drivers that are here clear from Paw Paw, Illinois and also from Lake Norris in Tennessee,” Blair said Wednesday crews checked boats on Champions Park Lake.
In July, the Marine Racing Club of Illinois will participate in a divisional event at the fairgrounds. Blair said the event will bring teams from five states to Springfield.
“They’re already talking about their championship for North America that they’ll bring here in 2020, bringing a tremendous amount of tourism that normally would not have come to Springfield.”
Finally, the fairgrounds will host an APBA charity event for children in 2020. The event was previously held in Florida.
Blair said these upcoming events differentiate Springfield, Ohio from the other 30 Springfields in the United States.
These new events will join the Springfield F1 Grand Prix and Wake in the Lake powerboat races which will be held at the fairgrounds for the third straight year Aug. 9-11.
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