By Amy Woolvett
Shelburne Harbour will come alive this September with the sounds of powerful engines as the boat races come to town for the first time.
Already a popular spectator sport in Barrington area, many people are anxious to see the boats race in Shelburne.
“These racers have always wanted to come to Shelburne,” said organizer Karen Mattatall. “People are excited about it because they see the value in bringing so many people to the town.”
Nova Scotia Boat Racing Association races at the causeway in Barrington can draw anywhere from 2500 to 4000 people, said co-organizer Eddie Nickerson.
“There are more fans across the county all the way from Lockeport to Cape Sable that most people expect,” he said. “It has become such a draw and that is good for economic development …gets people out and spending money.”
Mattatall said that businesses in the area are hugely supportive, and she noted how much support the Shelburne Harbour Yacht Club has given to the event.
The event will be held on the same weekend as the Whirligig Festival, on Saturday, Sept 15. The boat races are expected to last about three hours.
“I think its great for both events to be held at the same time,” said Mattatall.
“People that come to the races can check out the whirligigs and vice versa.”
While there will be no charge to see the races, contributions are appreciated and tags costing $5 can be purchased during the races for prize draws.
Nickerson said that he expects there to be a full run of boats for the event. Somewhere between 14 and 20 in all classes from under 400 horsepower up to 750 horsepower.
Nickerson said that with the boats racing up to 70 km/hr across the harbour, safety is their number one priority.
“It is going to be a good show,” he said. “It is very exciting and not something people will regret coming out to see…it is a thrill of its own.”