Boat Racing to Make Comeback at Salton Sea
Earth Day celebrations at the Salton Sea State Recreation Area provided a backdrop for an announcement by RPM Racing Enterprises President Ross Wallach that boat races would once again have a home on the Salton Sea.
The Salton Sea Speedweek event will be held December 5th, 6th and 7th at the State Park in North Shore. The ‘Bonneville’ type race will allow all types of boats from professional racing craft like Hydroplanes, Runabouts, V’s and Cat’s to either break an existing speed record or establish a new speed mark. The event will even include classes for pleasure craft.
“In the past, there have been many water speed records set on the Salton Sea and we believe this would be the perfect venue for this great event that can garner both national and world wide attention,” Wallach said. “There will be tremendous publicity prior to the event in all national and international boating magazine publications as well as local and national television coverage, which will greatly benefit the Salton Sea.”
The American Power Boat Racing Association (APBA) / Union of International Motonautique (U.I.M.) Kilometer Speed record on Salton Sea will be a sanctioned event. Sponsorships are set up in three tiers ranging from the Tier 1 $10,000 sponsorship, Tier 2 with a fee of $7,500 and Tier 3 at $5,000. Most of the sponsorships have been sold, with only a couple of opportunities remaining.
Cheers rang out from the Earth Day crowd as Wallach made the surprise announcement about the race. Special guests on hand for the event were Lana Hall and June Eilers Hall of Indio. June’s father was Gus Eilers who developed Eilers Date Palm Beach Resort in 1927, less than a mile up the beach. Gus promoted the very first boat races on the Salton Sea in the early 1930s as a way of promoting his resort.
It’s been 81 years since that humble beginning on the beautiful ‘north shore’ of the Salton Sea. There have, of course, been boom days and days of bust in the Sea’s 100+ year history. In the first 65 years of the Salton Sea, the cycles related to the fluctuating water level. In later years the sea has suffered because of the problems of both the water level and the ever-increasing salinity.
North Shore Community Council member Jennie Kelly called the day “one that sets the stage for great things to come for the community, the Sea and the Coachella Valley”.
All things considered, it’s a good a good time for North Shore and the Salton Sea, what with Varner Harbor re-opening at the State Park, boat races coming ‘home’ and even the North Shore Yacht Club being eyed by the county as an historic renovation site for use as a community center.
Earth Day celebrations at the Salton Sea State Recreation Area