Looking for a thrilling event on the water this weekend? The country’s longest-running powerboat races are happening May 20 and 21 in Dorchester County, Maryland at the 111th Cambridge Classic Powerboat Regatta on the Choptank River.
The Cambridge Yacht Club organized the first race here in 1911, which grew to over 20 events around the Bay. Today’s Cambridge Classic is like NASCAR with boats.
The racers will compete in hydroplanes—a boat that’s a cross between a race car and a jet plane. The Hydroplane Racing League will bring approximately 70 racing teams to town including 2.5-liter Formula 2500, Hydro 350 (previously 5-litre, as well as Grand Prix and the Jersey Speed Skiff class. The hulls range in size from 16 feet to 26 feet in length. Hovering over the surface of the water, the boats are capable of reaching speeds of up to 150 mph on the 1-mile course in Hambrooks Bay.
Spectators can catch the action at Gerry Boyle Park (at the end of Somerset Avenue) at Great Marsh Park in Cambridge where bleacher seating is available along the front stretch with a great view and a family-friendly atmosphere.
Boaters can also watch the Cambridge Classic from the water. The fleet will raft at Rooster Point. A no-wake zone will be established from Howell Point to the Choptank River Bridge.
On land, there will be the opportunity to visit the cold pit area to see select boats up close and meet the race teams. A kids zone will keep the little ones busy, and food and drink will be available (no outside coolers allowed).
Races run from about 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. Races run rain or shine, although if the wind is too strong, the race organizers will make the necessary call. The entire event is free and parking is $5.
After the Saturday races, head to Blue Ruin starting at 5 p.m. for a meet-and-greet with the racers, live music, food and drink.