BY BRIAN RZEPPA
In what can be lost in the variety of entertainment that will be featured throughout the weekend, the boat races themselves are shaping up to be a hotly contested battle — one in which the World Championship for two racing classes will be decided.
One of, and potentially the longest-running American Power Boat Association races, the Roar on the River, year in and year out, has proven itself to be a must-see event for boating fans and casual spectators alike.
Patrick Mell, the executive director of the APBA, has been with the organization for 20 years and has seen firsthand the importance of the event.
“The races in Trenton are very important to us. It’s always been a successful event and it’s one of our longest running events for a reason.” Mell said.
With a mix of different classes of races taking place throughout the event, there will be all sorts of talent on display. As Mell explained, the racing itself should be amongst the best that can be found in the United States.
“The classes are going to be similar to that in the past and there’s always been a really good turnout in terms of competitors, so the competition is really strong. It’s the World Championships for the OPC (Outboard Performance Craft), so you’ll see the best racers in the United States.”
The talent on display should be impressive, but Mell noted that the loss of Roar on the River “Godfather” Fred Miller was noticeable this year. While Miller’s absence will be felt, Mell felt that the event organizers from this year were able to work together to get the job done.
“Fred Miller was incredibly important to the racing community so his loss was felt tremendously. We find this event very important and hope that it continues forever and it seems as if the people in place now have been picking up the slack to make sure of that.”
With the best racers that can be seen in the country, the elements may be the only thing that makes the races even more exciting.
“With some of the classes that will be racing, the conditions of the Detroit River could make it an unpredictable event. If the water is choppy, you really never know what to expect.”