No powerboat festival this year, officials say

Organizers cite U.S. dollar pressures, lack of sponsors and recent death

There will be no international powerboat festival this year.

The recent announcement came from Dave Brown, who runs Bridgeview Marina. Brown, who was one of the event’s proponents and organizers, said the difficult decision to take what’s being called an “indefinite sabbatical” was made after difficulty finding sponsors, poor weather last year and pressure in finding volunteers.

Also cited was the recent death of Dave McPhail to cancer. McPhail, a former teacher and principal and more recently Liberal candidate for MP, had been very active in organizing the festival, co-chairing last summer’s event.

“That’s created quite a void, frankly,” said Brown.

Over the six years since the event was first established, costs have been covered by sponsorships. Any excess was donated to local charity.

Brown said it was time to “turn the page.”

Crowds of more than 30,000 were typical, with people gathered on both sides of the St. Clair River for the July weekend.

“We’ve had six great years and quite frankly it’s been very successful,” Brown said.

Organizers allocated nearly $100,000 just to managing the powerboat races.

Brown said he is contemplating another event going forward but didn’t say what that might be.

Get the Lambton Shield Daily Brief in your inbox:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.