BREMERTON — Kitsap Lake will be closed over the weekend for the 2017 Armed Forces Regatta.
On May 20-21, the lake will be used for the Seattle Outboard Association-sponsored hydroplane and runabout races. Kitsap Lake Park will be available for spectator parking. The event is free and open for public viewing.
The regatta will feature boats ranging from 8 to 12 feet in length, with drivers as young as 9, up to seniors. According to Dwight Malhiot, in an earlier interview with the Seattle Outboard Association, speeds can sometimes reach up to 100 mph.
“Before football, before baseball ever was anything in the Pacific Northwest, unlimited hydroplane racing was quite big,” Malhiot said. “[It] was one of the biggest things in Seattle.”
This race is an officially sanctioned American Power Boat Association race, from which participants can earn points toward national rankings and competitions.
The APBA website states, “From the time your parents give you permission, till the day the doctor wouldn’t recommend it, the thrill and the excitement of power boating can be enjoyed. Whether you’ve been a life-long fan trying to get a feel for the adrenaline running through your body, or you’re trying to introduce your son or daughter to the sport, there’s everything far and in between in this octane-fueled pastime.”
The reason the lake is closed to non-racers is because hydroplanes, being very small and lightweight, can be easily capsized by waves.
For more information regarding the closure, contact the Bremerton Parks and Recreation Department at 360-473-5305. For more information about the regatta, go to www.seattleoutboard.org.
— Michelle Beahm is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. She can be reached at mbeahm@soundpublish ing.com.