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Cocktail Class boat races are Saturday in Urbanna

The dock at the Urbanna Town Marina is an ideal place to watch the races.

Concert follows at town marina

by Tom Chillemi

When the starting horn sounds for the 5th annual Urbanna Cup boat races on Saturday, May 20, there won’t be the explosion of a NASCAR race—but the competition will be every bit as intense.

Although these 8-foot boats are powered by 6 or 8 horsepower engines, the rules strive to keep them all equal. That’s the goal of the Cocktail Class Wooden Boat Racing Association (CCWBRA)—to make the drivers’ skills the winning edge.

A skippers’ meeting will be at 9 a.m.; races will begin at 10 a.m. and should conclude about 5 p.m; and the awards ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. A Music Under the Stars concert featuring the bluegrass band “JNM” will start at 6:30 p.m.

All events are at the Urbanna Town Marina at the foot of Virginia Street. Admission is free. The races will go on—rain or shine—barring a major storm.

Lunch will be served by the Middlesex Volunteer Fire Department of Urbanna.

Local to international
CCWBRA got its start on the Corrotoman River in Lancaster County at the home of the late Dr. Curt Bluefeld. During a cocktail hour in 2007, the buzz of personal watercraft disturbed the peaceful sunset. Talk turned to the good ol’ days when kids built race boats—a spark had ignited into a flame. By 2010 a passion for racing was burning, and the CCWBRA was born. Today, Cocktail Class boats are being raced in 33 states and 7 countries, and all boats carry names of different cocktail drinks.

In 2013 the Urbanna Creek Cocktail Class (UCCC) fleet formed and the first Urbanna Cup was held. It now has 10 boats with over a dozen local racers participating.

Chris Riddick of Urbanna was among those who helped found the UCCC in 2013. “Captain” Riddick was the first to build a boat, and soon a group of more than six got together in a vacant Urbanna business to saw, sand and scheme a way to make their boats faster.

In 2014 Riddick went on to be the national champion in the 8-horsepower class, and won the Governor’s Cup in Florida in “Urbanna Oyster Shooter” (#73). He’s the defending Urbanna Cup champion in the 8-horsepower class.

On your mark
Weeks and months of preparation will come down to the race start. Racers will circle behind the start line. Many will run their boats wide open toward the starting line in a practice run. The goal is to be just behind, but not across, the starting line when the starting horn sounds.

The flat-out run gives the boats momentum. They must run the turns cleanly, not turning too sharply or the propeller will stop driving and the boat will lose momentum. 

Spectators are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets and sit on the docks at the Urbanna Town Marina and watch all the action. 

Visit for more information.

posted 05.17.2017

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