75th Orange Cup Regatta Roars Onto Lake Hollingsworth This Weekend


Boat racers start a heat in the SST-60 class during last year's Orange Cup Regatta. This year's power boat races will take place Saturday and Sunday.

RICK RUNION/THE LEDGER (2012)
Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:38 p.m.

The sounds of power boats will be heard in the air for miles around Lakeland this weekend.

Facts

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Orange Cup Regatta

WHEN: 8 a.m. till dusk Saturday, noon till dusk Sunday.

LOCATION: Lake Hollingsworth, 929 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland.

ADMISSION: Free.

CONTACT: 688-3009 or online

The 75th Orange Cup Regatta will be Saturday and Sunday at Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland.

The Orange Cup Regatta is a series of power boat races involving more than 50 boats in different classes competing for points going toward crowning an American Power Boat Association champion.

To get you ready for racing, we wanted to break down all you'll need to know for going to the race.

The Course

Lake Hollingsworth's nickname is the "Lake of Records" because more world records in power boating have been set here than at any other lake in the world. The course is one mile around the lake and it's surveyed to make sure any potential world records set this weekend are accurate. Race Director Gene Engle said the race conditions at Lake Hollingsworth are perfect for setting records.

Inboard vs. Outboard

There are two main kinds of power boats, inboard and outboard boats. There are many styles in each category, but to put it simply an outboard boat has its engine in the water and an inboard boat has its engine inside the boat.

Popular Boat Classes

There are several power boat classes competing. One of the fan-favorite divisions is the inboard Jersey Speed Skiffs. The Jersey Skiffs are extremely powerful and spend most of the time airborne.

"The crowds love them, they bounce all over the race course," Engle said.

Another popular class is the Outboard Performance Craft (OPC). The OPCs are tunnel boats that can reach up to 140 mph, and the courses involve making sharp 90-degree turns at five times normal gravity. It should be noted that the OPC is the only division that doesn't race to break records.

"You've got a little bit of everything. There's not one class that stands out where you say, ‘that's the best.' Not true, not true at all because they're all so different," said chief scorer Sally Titus.

Schedule

Engle said what makes this event very popular for power boat teams is they can earn double points. Each division will race once on Saturday and once on Sunday. There is no set time when each race will begin, but the boats will start racing about 10 a.m. Saturday.

What to Bring

Patrons are encouraged to bring blankets and folding chairs to sit at any of the grassy areas surrounding Lake Hollingsworth. It's also recommended to bring a coat as the high temperatures will be in the low 60s this weekend.

Fans can bring coolers with food and drinks. There will also be food vendors in the cold pit area serving concessions.

Parking

The parking lot east of the Lakeland Yacht and Country Club will be used as the pit area, but there will be limited parking around the lake. Additional parking can be found near Florida Southern College or the Beerman Family Tennis Center at 1000 E. Edgewood Drive, a half mile from the yacht club.

Matt Reinstetle can be reached at matt.reinstetle@theledger.com or 802-7533.

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