Around 100 power boaters will take to Haliburton’s Head Lake this weekend.
The annual Haliburton Outboard Power Boat Races are making a splash at the Head Lake public boat launch in Haliburton Village. It runs on Saturday starting at 10:00 a.m., and Sunday at 11:00 a.m., finishing around 5:00 p.m. both days.
Event organizer Barb Hammond says there’s several different classes of boats racing, with each doing three laps of Head Lake to compete for the best time.
“It’s a great event, it’s free and action-packed,” says Hammond. “People are encouraged to come down on the Friday night and walk through the pit area, to look at the boats up close. On Saturday and Sunday that area is closed off.”
The event is also a fundraiser for the Haliburton Hospital Auxiliary, which will be running a raffle with prizes from a variety of local businesses. All funds raised by that and the 50-50 draw at the event’s banquet Saturday night will go to the Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation.
According to Hammond, in the six years since the event started, it’s raised more than $19,000 for the local hospital. She adds the organization behind the races, the Toronto Outboard Racing Club, will likely make a donation of $1,000 as it has in the past.
Hammond says racers range in age from seven to 82, including three people from Haliburton County– two of which are her own children. She adds plenty of beginner boaters will also be hitting the water for the first time this year.
“Usually that’s a hard class to fill, because obviously it’s an expensive sport. But for whatever reason this year, our club has had a great turnout of beginner racers,” says Hammond. “We’ll probably have over 100 racers. This year we have a really good turnout. And the weather is predicted to be very nice, which is even better.”
Food and drink will also be available on-site, and auxiliary members will be collecting non-perishables for local food banks. Hammond says they’re very grateful for the community’s support.
“All our sponsors have been fabulous, they have stuck with us from the get-go,” says Hammond. “A lot of others are approaching me now, and saying ‘hey, how do I sponsor this event?’ The Haliburton community has been very generous to this event. All the businesses in town, really, have been very good.”
The lake’s municipal parking lot and boat launch will be closed from Friday at 7:30 a.m. to Sunday at 6:00 p.m. Haliburton RPM’s launch is free to the public for that time.