|Powerboat racing comes to Byllesby|
by Paul Martin
The roar of powerboats racing at up to 135 mph is planned for Lake Byllesby on May 17 and 18. Twin City Powerboat Association (TCPBA) will be promoting the event, and were represented at the Goodhue County Board meeting on January 21 by Scott Stricker of Hastings. “We celebrated our 50th anniversary last year,” said Stricker, “but we have never held any races south of the Twin Cities area.”
Boats race in ten classes, with qualifying races on Saturday and finals on Sunday. Professional race teams will compete for points toward a national championship series. The smallest classes of boats race at up to 50 mph, while the Formula 1 ‘Tunnel Hull’ boats can reach 135 mph. The boat parking and launch area at the Goodhue County Park on Hwy 19 will be given over to the boat crews. As well as watching the races, spectators will be able to meet the teams and watch the boats being worked on. Admission will be free.
Stricker said, “We have met with Dakota and Goodhue County staff, and we got the ‘thumbs up’ from the Lake Byllesby Residents’ Association. Safety measures, including skilled dive teams, are lined up. Once we have approval, we can reach out to businesses for sponsorship to pay for it all.” TCPBA carry their own insurance.
County Attorney Steve Betcher wanted to get “everything in writing,” and the Board agreed. That said, they granted Stricker the event permit he had applied for. Powerboat enthusiasts can mark their calendars for May 17 and 18. “This is a good weekend for it,” said Director of Public Works Greg Isakson, “since it is between the start of fishing season and Memorial Day weekend.”