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Urbanna Cup boat races are Saturday

When the starting horn sounds for the 6th annual Urbanna Cup boat races this Saturday, May 19, at the Urbanna Town Marina 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 (HP) engines, the rules strive to keep them all equal. Lighter boats will carry jugs of water to add weight. That’s the goal of the Cocktail Class Wooden Boat Racing Association (CCWBRA)—to make the drivers’ skill the winning edge.

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

Each class will take about an hour to run the preliminary heats and final races. The finals will pit the top six boats from the preliminary heats. For safety reasons, race heats and finals are limited to six boats. Each of three heat races in each class is one lap in distance. The top two finishers from the heat races advance to the final. The final is also three one-lap races. 

The racing begins with the Women’s 6-HP at 9:30 a.m.

At 10:45 a.m., the “heavy” class 6 HP boats are on the water.

From noon to 1 p.m., the “open” 6-HP boats race.

From 1:15-2:30 p.m., the Smith Island Crab Skiffs race. These boats are longer and have bigger engines.

From 3-4:30 p.m., the “open” 8-HP boats square off.

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.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newsstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 05.16.2018

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