Speedboats Return to Lake George This Weekend
When Jason Saris, Rick Gage and Norm Dascher realized they needed to change the perception of performance boating on Lake George they approached Lake George Village Mayor Bob Blais with an idea.
They decided a different tactic was necessary to re-charge the enthusiasm for Lake George among the go-fast crowd. That was three years ago and on May 18 – 20 the hot boats will be back at the lake.
The concept was to provide a venue where off-shore and high-performance boats could come to Lake George for a weekend of fun and be able to demonstrate the capabilities of their boats without being stressed by speed and noise limitations. If you like performance boating, this is the event to attend.
“Last year’s crowd was a testament to how much the Performance Weekend (formerly known as the Queen’s Great Boating Weekend) has grown in just two short years,” Gage said. An idea that was conceived by three friends has created an event that has become an economic force in the community and a must-attend event for performance-boating fans.
“I am very excited to see the performance boats return to the Village again this year,” said Mayor Blais. “Our part of the lake is a great location for this event and I’m glad that it has turned into an annual occurrence,” Blais said.
The event’s sponsor is Performance Marine of Bolton Landing. Saris and Gage have been partners in the high-performance boat company since 1987. “The driving force is to more effectively reach out to recreational boaters,” Gage said.
“It amazes me how this event has evolved,” said Saris. “They’re not vying for a purse or huge trophies. The only thing I can think of (why it’s grown) is that we’ve kept it simple and fun. Everybody loves Lake George and this is a way for them to get out on the lake and unleash the power that these boats have,” he said.
“This is not a formal competition,” Saris explained. “The driver’s enjoy this event because it is simply a demonstration. They can get out on the lake, show what their boats can do and not have to go through all of the rigorous safety inspections required during sanctioned races,” Saris said.
The Lake George Performance Weekend is also a key economic boost for the local economy. It is held the weekend before Memorial Day, which would typically be a slow weekend at the lake, but that’s no longer the case. “Some people will attend the Performance Weekend and stay the following week for the holiday. The result last year was packed hotels and motels and bustling restaurants,” Gage said.
The tentative schedule calls for a boat parade down Canada Street on Friday evening followed by a reception at a local restaurant, which will be open to the public.
According to Gage, there will be a driver’s meeting at 11 am on Saturday. The main Offshore Demonstration Races will take place from noon to 4 pm followed by a reception/party at King Neptune’s Pub in Lake George Village. The awards ceremony is open to the public and includes live entertainment and a spectacular fireworks display over the lake.
Spectators will be able to walk along the Village docks to gawk at the fancy paint jobs or to ooh and aah at the huge engines with the big blowers and gleaming exhaust pipes. The powerboat demonstrations may be easily viewed from any vantage point along Beach Road.
This year organizers have added a two-day custom car and motorcycle show in the Beach Road parking lot and there will be a sailboat race at noon on Sunday. All of the weekend events are free and open to the public. For more information call Rick Gage at 518-644-3080.