Powerboat race heading to LaGrange

By Melanie Ruberti

April 4, 2014

Powerboats will be flying through the waters on West Point Lake May 9-11.

The LaGrange Troup County Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday they just signed the contracts and received final approval to hold the first ever LaGrange Powerboat Grand Prix. The races are put on by the Powerboat SuperLeague, and will be held at Pyne Road Park on Roanoke Road.

“The organizers think that Pyne Road Park is one of the best venues, if not the best venues, they’ve ever seen,” said Laura Jennings, Tourism Director with the LaGrange - Troup County Chamber of Commerce.

Jennings said the event will kick off the 2014 racing season for the Powerboat SuperLeague. The weekend-long event will start May 9, with a pit tour and test run, followed by a battle of the bands street party called “The Battle of the Bull Street.” The races will begin May 10, and last through May 11t. Jennings said everything will be free of charge and open to the public.

The event will cost around 80 thousand dollars. Jennings said that includes a host fee, plus pay for a TV production company to produce a half hour show on West Point Lake and the race on Fox Sports South. Jennings said the money will also help build a temporary dock at Pyne Road Park.

“In tourism I’m always trying to find alternative sports and activities to have in our community. I’m always looking for diversity,”said Jennings. ” Sports tourism is big business. This shows all the viewers on Fox Sport South what a great lake West Point Lake is. It also reminds locals what a great asset we have in our community. I’m especially proud we are not having to charge anything. The economy is not where it should be, so it’s nice when you can offer family friendly events that don’t cost anything.”

The Powerboat Grand Prix will feature races with Formula 2, Formula 3, and inboard boats. Jennings said it’s like ’ Nascar on the water.’ The event will replace the annual Bassmaster Elite fishing tournament for this year.

“Our hope is that people will come and spend the weekend in LaGrange,” explained Jennings. ” They can enjoy the bands, dine at our restaurants, and stay in our hotels.”

Jennings said they will have food trucks set up at the park, so people can picnic and spend all day watching the races.