SMOKE ON THE WATER Geneva on the Lake Boat Races
HELICOPTERS AND pleasure boats find choice positions at the Silver Cup Race of
the Great Lakes Offshore Powerboat Racing Association Sunday off Geneva State
GOTL powerboat race thrills thousands
GENEVA-ON-THE-LAKE - The sun was shining, the weather was warm, the
crowds were enthusiastic and Lake Erie was placid.
Who could ask for better conditions for a boat race?
"I wish the water was rougher, like it was yesterday," said Bill Reich, owner of
Team Extreme, one of the larger boats in Sunday's race. "The water here is
always rough except for today. It's just more fun when you get to spend time in
Winners include Bad Attitude, Paradise, Short Circuit, V1 Rotate, In Motion
Again, Cat Can Do, Rumrunners, Twisted Styx, Team Vicious, Traffic Light and
Yardarm Marine Products. A total of $10,000 was awarded.Thousands of racers and
spectators found the Great Lakes Offshore Powerboat Racing Association's (GLOPRA)
Silver Cup race in Geneva-on-the-Lake Sunday afternoon lots of fun regardless of
boats' tendency to stay in the water. Paul Palmentera, GLOPRA president, said 30
boats came to Geneva-on-the-Lake for the race and guessed 3,000 to 4,000
spectators came to cheer the racers on.
Palmentera said the day only had one "minor mishap," when the Talisman Racing
boat spun out and ejected one racer. The racer received a cut on his arm,
presumably from his boat's propeller and was taken to the hospital. He received
a few stitches and was released.
"When I saw that we were racing in Geneva-on-the-Lake this year, I was like,
'All right!'" said Reich. "The last time we raced here was in the '90s and we
had a blast!"
Geneva-on-the-Lake used to host a GLOPRA race every year, but the village was
responsible for raising the prize money. Now, corporate sponsors provide most of
the prize money.
"This is a great site for the race. The people are so nice," said Palmentera.
"They enjoy having us as much as we enjoy being here."
Boats were divided into two classes for separate races. The races began on the
west side of Geneva-on-the-Lake, near Geneva State Park, and went past the
Strip, looping around past Township Park. A helicopter flew above the race
boats, videotaping the race for Speedvision. Race co-organizer Kris Mendeszoon
said the race should be broadcast this winter.
Most spectators heard about the race from other people in town or saw boats on
display. Ralph and Pat Ferguson of
Ashtabula were on a weekend family camping trip at
Indian Creek Resort. Boat number
69 was parked in the campground's parking lot, so the Fergusons came to watch it
"We were kind of watching number 69, since we saw it before the race," said Pat
The Fergusons said they enjoyed the race, but said it wasn't as exciting as the
NASCAR race they saw earlier in the summer.
"It was as loud as NASCAR, though!" said Pat Ferguson.
Mendeszoon said she was thrilled with how well the race came together and how
many people came to watch. Usually, GLOPRA races are planned in about a year,
but the Geneva-on-the-Lake race was put together in two months, after the
scheduled race in Wisconsin fell through. Nobody seemed disappointed.
"Lots of the old time racers have been saying they forgot how much fun it was to
race in Geneva-on-the-Lake," Mendeszoon said.
Geneva-on-the-Lake will have a GLOPRA race next year, tentatively scheduled for
June 8-9. Mendeszoon said they received quite a bit of community support for
this year's race, and already have businesses ready to lend their support to
next year's race.