POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It is days like this that make you forget all about winter storm coverage.
People were out enjoying a beach day on Wednesday. CBS2s Meg Baker saw many folks in the water and kayaking. In a few weeks youll be able to look out and watch boats fly by at high speeds.
Boat racing is set to return to Point Pleasant Beach.
Powerboat racing is set to return to Point Pleasant Beach on May 19, 2018. (Photo: CBS2)
Glenn Hellwig is competing in the Grand Prix on the weekend of May 19. Its a 40-mile race held in front of Jenkinsons Boardwalk.
“We are ready to dominate and beat up on everybody. We are the 2017 national and world champions and looking to repeat,” Hellwig said.
The Jersey Shore has a long history of racing connected to the inlet, dating back to 1970.
“When this was the Benihana Boat Race years ago, this was known as the Indianapolis 500 of boat racing,” Offshore Powerboat Racing director Ron Polli said.
So just how fast do the boats go?
“Well, this class here is a five boat. We have a breakout speed of 75 mph. If we go over that were going to get disqualified,” Wall Township driver Scott Schuless said. “So you have boats out there if last year, two years ago, the waves are 6 foot, 7 foot, sometimes youre going to go 10-12 feet out of the water. Its very hard to go faster than 75 mph, anyway.”
So far, more than 35 boats are registered. The event means big business for this small town.
“Its like a kick-off to our summer with the hotels and restaurants and, of course, the boardwalk,” Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Stephen Reid said.
The organizers say its a real family occasion. On the days leading up to the race kids can come and hop in the boats and put on a helmet. Its also run by a non profit, so this year all proceeds go towards fighting opioid abuse.
Last year, there was an accident at the start of the race, but race officials assured CBS2s Baker that extra safety measures have been put in place.