Perfect weather and a record setting turnout for the Florida Vintage Raceboat Club’s 2020 Spring Thunder Regatta over the weekend in the sea capital of the world Tavares, Florida. The venue which has become the “Season Opener” for the American Power Boat Associations Vintage division that includes hydroplanes, outboard tunnels, skiffs and more saw the pits were stacked full with over 60 boats on display and taking to course to showcase what these pieces of history can do.
Despite last minute fears of the event cancellation due to restrictions surrounding the virus, town officials came by the event Friday and confirmed with organizers that the event would be allowed to continue. This made the event one of very few events actually allowed to go on across Florida which was a relief for participants who made the trip from across the U.S and Canada. With that 14 separate classes got to run both Saturday and again on Sunday for literarily non stop hot laps.
Although vintage regattas are not racing a large number of these are in fact retired race boats and with them comes some risk which Jeff Kent in his recently restored Miller American Boat displayed Saturday with a blow over. Jeff was alright thankfully with only some mild injuries including a cracked rib. The boat however was a little more banged up but damage still minor compared to how the boat looked with brake away steerings and cockpit doing its job and breaking free from the hull.
This event is has grown every year in both the spring and fall turnouts with much more room to grow. The spring and fall events are perfect ways to start to and end the season wether you’re a vintage racer, historic buff or simply a fan of every boat racing well highly recommend coming a joining in the fun.