Lake Surface to Sizzle with High Performance Boats
If you have a “need for speed” then Rick Gage and Jason Saris have the cure for you this weekend. For the fourth year in a row, the owners of Performance Marine in Bolton Landing have pulled together a line-up of sizzling-hot boats for a demonstration of high-performance boating activities right here on Lake George.
Gage said at least two dozen of the off-shore class boats will be in the water at the Lake George Village docks on Saturday, May 17. The “Offshore Demonstration Race” will feature high-performance boats in a staged offshore powerboat race.
Each race will consist of 6 – 8 boats in a pre-determined sequence around a 1.4 mile-long teardrop-shaped oval course in the southernmost end of Lake George. The course layout will maximize the ability for shoreline-based spectators on Beach Road to watch the demonstration as well as people sitting in the restaurants and bars on the west side of the lake. “The boats should be able to make it around the course in less than 90 seconds,” Gage said.
According to Gage, there will be three different offshore demonstration events beginning at 12:00 noon and ending at 4:00 PM. “We expect between 20 to 30 boats to participate,” he said. “The first heat will consist of boats capable of speeds up to 65 mph. The second class will be 75 mph boats and the final group will be boats with speeds exceeding 85 mph.”
The three-man team of Jason Saris, his son Johnny Saris and Verne French piloted their 32-foot Cobra to a World Championship OPA (Offshore Powerboat Association) win last October. Johnny and Verne French will churn up the water in that very same championship boat during the demonstration while Jason announces over an on-shore public address system what the drivers and throttle men experience as they race around the course..
“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.
Spectators will be able to walk along the Village docks to gawk at the fancy paint jobs or be overwhelmed by 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.
Gage said the demonstration is sponsored by Performance Marine, the Town and Village of Lake George and Coors Light. “Mayor Blais is behind this event 100 percent,” said Gage. “We could not put this together without his help and support.”
Gage said boat owners are coming to Lake George from as far away as Ontario, Canada. “Canadian John Landry is bringing his 42-foot Fountain. Former racer Shane Mahieu (who participated with local racing celeb and former National Champion Nicky Cutro, Jr.) will be here with his 30-foot Skater powered by Gilmore engine. And, the husband and wife team of Sean and Kathy Rice plan on being here with their 32-foot Tempest … just to name a few,” Gage said.
Gage said all participating boats will be launched into the lake at Norowal Marina in Bolton Landing. “They are going in at Norowal because they have a wash station at the marina. In light of the new boat inspection regulations, we are requiring that all boats registered for the demonstration race get power-washed before being launched,” he said. “Mayor Blais said the boats can be inspected and washed at the Lake George Village Transfer Station as well.”
According to Gage, on-water support for the event will be provided by the Lake George Park Commission, the Warren County Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Police. “The Lake George Rescue Squad and the North Queensbury Rescue Squad will be on stand-by as well,” Gage said.
The Lake George Performance Weekend is 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. “This year the Italian Street Fest coincides with our event. Hot boats and good food … it doesn’t get any better than that,” he said with a laugh.
Gage said the weekend will be filled with activities including an informal driver’s reception Friday evening at the Boardwalk restaurant, a mandatory driver’s meeting at 10:30 am on Saturday and 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 at King Neptune’s is open to the public and includes live entertainment. Awards will be presented for Best in Show, Nicest Paint Job, Best Engine Compartment as well as other categories.
Gage said the weekend activities will by wrapped up with a sailboat race on Sunday morning organized by Bolton Landing resident Kyle La Voy. For more information call Rick Gage at 518-644-3080 or visit perfmar.com