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Crowds Turn Out For Regatta

August 29, 2011

Staff photo/Beth Lipton: Spectators line the banks of Grand Lake St. Marys to catch action as part of the Governor's Cup Regatta.

CELINA — Thousands of spectators lined Lake Shore Drive in Celina over the weekend for a view of the 2011 World Championships and Governor’s Cup Regatta on Grand Lake St. Marys.

The annual inboard hydroplane race brought spectators not only from the area, but also from Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia and Kentucky. Spectators Bob Appel and Gene Hell, of Fort Wayne, Ind., enjoyed their view from the VIP tent. They noted that the commute was “not bad” for what the race has to offer. The two have enjoyed the event in the past, and said the community was a draw for them to return to the annual race.

“It’s a beautiful community,” Appel said. “It’s a nice, Midwestern community.”

Hell noted he also enjoyed the community and the atmosphere found at the Governor’s Cup Regatta and that the weather was also a positive.

“The weather is nice,” he said of the breezy, mid-70 degree weather.

Appel said that he enjoyed the racing, but the people also make the event better.

“The racing is one thing, but what I like is the people,” he said. “You don’t have these kinds of things the way you used to. It’s refreshing. It’s a typical small town community event.”

Appel also applauded the facility.

“You don’t find events like this where you have this kind of facility,” Appel said.

Families of spectators flooded the Lake Shore Drive over the weekend, as they spent some quality time watching and learning about the sport. Brothers Mason and Geordan Muether, of Celina, attended the Governor’s Cup with their grandmother, whose brother-in-law had raced in the past. She was using the opportunity to teach her grandsons about racing.

“I think it’s pretty cool,” Mason said of the racing.

The brothers learned a slew of things about racing, including how the boats were loaded into the water, and then taken out.

“We even got to see a couple of them hook the boats on (the crane),” Mason said.

The two said they had learned “a lot” about racing, and that there were several things that they liked about the sport. Mason commented on the look of the boats.

“I like how they look,” he said.

Geordan said he enjoyed the speed of the boats.

“I like how fast they’re going and how they almost don’t touch the water,” he said.

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