I spent this past weekend up in Lake George, New York, for one of my favorite biennial traditions, the Antique Classic Boat Society’s Race Boat Regatta. This is a fan-favorite event that brings together large hydroplanes, speed skiffs, flat bottoms and speedsters, from all over the country and Canada, for a chance to race on the lake. Drivers and boat owners trailered their boats from as far as Wisconsin, Utah, and even northern Ontario for the single-day event, which drew a huge crowd. The boats were divided into divisions based on size and boat type, then each division ran three heats around the “track”, all competing for the best time. The event takes major planning, from hiring safety divers, to closing off main roads so the boats can arrive, and even renting a crane to lift boats in and out of the water.
Before the event I got a chance to ask event coordinator for the ACBS, Peter Johnson, why people love this event.
“The antique race boats are something unique, they are these old wooden boats, some more then 80 years old, that have been given such love and care throughout the years that they are still able to race, and hit speeds of over 70 mph. For the owners of the boat, it’s the thrill of racing, and showing off their boats and all the hard work that goes into maintaining them. For people watching, it’s amazing to watch these vintage vessels zoom around the lake.”
As photographer for the event for the past 4 years, I was looking forward to a great showing of super-charged, antique wooden race boats. The high speeds and rocking water makes taking photos from a boat difficult, but very rewarding when you finally capture the craft!