It’s on again on Lake Cumberland!
For the second consecutive year, Lake Cumberland welcomes some of the biggest and fastest boats on the water as Offshore Super Series (OSS) powerboat racing returns to South Central Kentucky on June 4-6 for the Lake Cumberland Grand Prix 2010 at Waitsboro Recreation Area in Somerset and Pulaski County.
High speed powerboats—capable of reaching speeds of up to 200 mph—will compete on a challenging 4.8 mile, seven-turn course in the bend of Lake Cumberland visible to crowds from the shoreline of Waitsboro Recreation Area and spectators watching from private boats in and around the viewing areas.
“This race is like NASCAR on water. We except an exciting weekend of professional powerboat racing on Lake Cumberland featuring a stellar lineup of pre-race entertainment on Friday, opening night of Lake Cumberland Grand Prix, with a free Southern rock and blues concert by Devon Allman and the Honeytribe at Race Village at The Center for Rural Development,” Larry Combs, race coordinator and director of business services for The Center, said.
“We are looking forward to our return to the Bluegrass state and the second annual Lake Cumberland Grand Prix in its new location,” John Brunner, director of operations for OSS, added. “The straight-aways will provide excitement and give everyone a chance to air out their boats on this great course.”
The Center, located a short distance north of the race course on U.S. 27 at Traffic Light 15, will serve as command central for the race teams and the main site for the public to meet the teams on the first day of race weekend before they head out to the race course on Saturday for Prom Am Racing and qualifying rounds and Race Day on Sunday.
Fresh off their first race of the OSS season in Biloxi on the Mississippi Gulf Shore, drivers and their teams will begin arriving in Somerset and the Lake Cumberland area early next week.
Their boats will be on full public display for the first time in a colorful “Parade of Boats” starting at 6 p.m. on June 4 from Race Village at The Center, and traveling northward on U.S. 27 and back to The Center for a meet-and-greet event with the race teams and a live concert with Devon Allman’s Honeytribe.
“You don’t want to miss anything at this year’s Lake Cumberland Grand Prix, so come see the boats and meet the drivers at Race Village,” said Jack Keeney, coordinator of the “Parade of Boats” and executive director of Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce. “We are excited to be part of an event which will draw attention to Lake Cumberland on a state and national level.”
After the “Parade of Boats,” Devon Allman, son of iconic singer/songwriter Gregg Allman of the legendary Allman Brothers Band, will take the stage with his band, the Honeytribe, in The Center’s Exhibit Hall for a free Southern rock and blues concert.
“We are very excited to have Devon Allman’s Honeytribe performing live at The Center,” Laura Glover, director of sales and events for The Center, said. “It’s a great concert that will help launch three days of racing excitement at Race Village and the race site as the Lake Cumberland Grand Prix takes over Somerset.”
Prior to the concert, Race Village visitors will also have an opportunity to purchase tickets for a chance to win a “Kentucky Products” gift basket stuffed with signature items unique to the Bluegrass state. Tickets are $2 each with proceeds to benefit race efforts.
On Saturday, the action moves to Waitsboro Recreation Area, located off U.S. 27 past Traffic Light 29, for the first of two days of professional powerboat racing. Land-based spectators will be able to enjoy the race from the shoreline while boat-based spectators will be able to view the race from designated areas around the race course. The spectator areas will be marked with buoys and patrolled by a safety fleet during races.
Primary parking for the Lake Cumberland Grand Prix will be available at the following locations: The Center; North and South Campuses of Somerset Community College, located off of Monticello Street; Coldwell Banker Foster Real Estate Inc., 5383 South U.S. 27; Pulaski County Area Technology Center, located behind Hardee’s South at 3825 U.S. 27; Southern Elementary School and Southern Middle School, both located behind Somerset Mall on Enterprise Drive.
A free shuttle service will operate on both June 5 and 6 from these designated parking areas. Race access at Waitsboro Recreation Area is $10 per day for adults and $5 per day for children ages three through 12. Each shuttle rider will receive a colored wristband, which gives them access to race viewing areas and transportation to and from the race site at any time during the day.
These fees are also in effect should spectators park in alternate locations near Waitsboro Recreation Area and wish to enter the course on foot to view the race.
Due to activities surrounding the race, there will not be any designated parking for spectators at Waitsboro Recreation Area.
The powerboats will be launched from a secured ramp at General Burnside Island State Park. During the Lake Cumberland Grand Prix on June 5 and 6, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced the boat ramps at General Burnside Island State Park and at Waitsboro Recreation Area will be closed to the public all day both days to give race teams full access to Lake Cumberland.
However, boat launching ramps will be open with limited parking on race weekend at Slate Branch, Lee’s Ford Marina, Waitsboro Landing, Echo Point, and Cave Creek.
During Race Day on Sunday, OSS Offshore Powerboat announcers Martin Sanborn and Charlie Haimes will broadcast a play-by-play account of all three races on Clear Channel Lake Cumberland’s Classic Hits Q-97.
The broadcast, which will start with the first race at noon, can be heard live on Q97.1 FM and on the Internet at www.talkoffshore.com.
Race teams will return to Race Village at The Center at the conclusion of the final race for an awards program at 7 p.m. Sunday. The Center will also use the opportunity to draw the winning ticket for a free “Houseboat Holiday” Lake Cumberland vacation valued at $3,500 plus a $200 fuel allowance, courtesy of Conley Bottom Resort and Marina.
Tickets for the “Houseboat Holiday” are $5 each, or can be purchased in blocks of five for $20; 15 for $50; and 35 for $100. For tickets, contact Jessica Melton at The Center at 606-677-6000.
Proceeds from the regional fund-raising campaign will be used to support The Center’s three summer youth programs: Rogers Scholars, Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (ELI), and Rogers Explorers.