Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Adrenaline junkies, get ready for this year’s Peace River Boating Association’s Gold Cup, set to take place July 28-30!
River racing enthusiasts will be gathering to watch jet boats navigate the waterways of the Peace River and Smoky River at speeds of up to 250 km/hr.
“The boat races were really big in the 70s, 80s and 90s but then kind of died off,” says Peace River Boating Association president Felix Bergeron.
“A bunch of us went to the races in Whitecourt in 2003, all with the intention to bring it back to Peace River.”
This year will mark the 19th year the boat races are back in Peace River, a legacy Bergeron says they are trying to build on with each passing year.
“We keep adding on to the event to make it more family friendly,” he says.
“We know not everyone will want to watch the boat races, so we’ve added other things to make everyone happy,” he adds.
Friday events will be held at Misery Mountain Ski Chalet with a Show and Shine and Tack Inspection. Bergeron says this is a family friendly event, and families are encouraged to come to take pictures and meet the racers and crews. He says the Race Weekend Programs will also be available at the event and visitors can have racers and crew sign their programs.
Saturday will feature the boat races, with various heats to showcase the different classes of racers. Slower boats will start in the morning and faster boats will be featured later in the day.
“We’ve had upwards of 50 to 60 boats, but things have gone down some over the years,” he says.
“We are hoping to have 15 boats at this year’s races.”
Bergeron says for people who aren’t as enthusiastic about boat races, there will be a variety of events for them at Riverfront Park. A farmers’ market, car show, facepainting, beer gardens and pizza delivery will all be available through the day.
Bergeron and his crew hope people will come out to enjoy the show and to support the Peace River Boating Association.