Boat races return to Portsmouth

By Frank Lewis

June 23, 2014

By Frank Lewis


The boat races are coming back to Portsmouth. The Portsmouth Challenge will be held Aug. 2-3 at the Court Street Landing. The event will feature tunnel boats including Formula 2, Formula 3 and the North American Championship for the Super Sport class.

“Super Sport class runs a racing hull with an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) compliant green engine, just like you would go in your dealership and buy,” Jerry Book of Book Brothers Marine said. “They have to be fuel-injected. They have to pass EPA standards and all of that.”

Book said races, sanctioned through the American Powerboat Association, will run from noon-5 p.m. on Saturday (Aug. 2) and noon-4 p.m. on Sunday (Aug. 3). Trophies will be awarded in each class.

Book said he had approached the River Days committee about staging the races on Labor Day weekend but they were not interested in having them as a part of that weekend’s events.

Book said local businesses are paying for the boat races that are coming in August.

“I’ve collected almost $20,000 on my own, roughly $150 at a time per ad going into the program,” Book said. “Last year, myself and Darrell Ramey helped me and Lana Dingus coordinated it through SOMC (Southern Ohio Medical Center). SOMC was very generous and helped us out quite a bit. If it hadn’t been for them (SOMC) we wouldn’t have been able to have the races last year.”

Book said the same three people, including himself, are the ones working on the project this year.

“Everyone that was on board last year have all said, yes, we’ll do it, except for a couple who have run across hard times and can’t do it,” Book said. “Other than that, everybody is back on board for it and even more businesses are stepping up and saying, ‘I want to put an ad in the program to help support it.’”

Book said admission to the boat races is free.

“The announcer will be right there in front of the amphitheater,” Book said. “And the amphitheater will be where turns 3 and 4 are.”

Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.