Jordan Swain came before the Syracuse Park Board to propose having boat races on Syracuse Lake during the park board’s regular monthly meeting Monday night. Swain explained there used to be races on the lake and he and others would like to bring them back.
Swain belongs to the Northern Indiana Outboard Racing Association and the club would like to hold an event May 10. He told the park board Lakeside Park is a perfect location for racers in the area and he can guarantee 100 boats would participate.
Members of a racing club in southeastern Michigan have shown interest in participating if such an event is held.
Swain and Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, showed a map of Lakeside Park with areas highlighted as hot pits for the racing trailers, spectators area in the park property and parking for tow vehicles behind the skate park. The trailers will be moved into the hot pit area by a tractor.
Swain explained the boats average 8 to 11 feet long and go a maximum speed of 75 mph, however, most of the races will be conducted at lower speeds. Boats will also be pulled out of the water for refueling.
Jonsson noted there are two events planned at the community center Saturday, May 10, a graduation party and an auction, but thinks the boat races could work out.
Swain told the park board he is interested in making the races an annual event. The event will run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Swain said he plans on working with the Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce in approaching service clubs about providing concessions. There will also be live music provided by The Lady Birds, a band specializing in rock n roll from the ’50s and ’60s.
Dave VanLue, park board president, expressed concern about the environmental impact of the races. Swain said he needed a permit from the Department of Natural Resources and he will also be talking to the Syracuse Lake Association and Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation about the event.
(Cover photo from Rinker Racing)