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Clayton celebrates 20 years of vintage boat racing at 2012 regatta Friday through Sunday

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CLAYTON – The Antique Boat Museum is celebrating 20 years of vintage racing history in Clayton at the 2012 Antique Raceboat Regatta from Friday through Sunday.

Held on the St. Lawrence River in Clayton every other year since 1992, the regatta — an American Power Boat Association-sanctioned event — is all about antique race boats skipping across the water at high speeds.

Close to 100 boats from all over the U.S. and Canada will participate in this year’s regatta, including small outboard racers, high-powered outboard boats, Gar Wood speedsters, Gold Cup racers and Grand Prix hydroplanes capable of traveling at speeds of more than 150 mph.

W. David Richardson, regatta chairman, said every boat is special and a wonder to watch.

But some of the boats coming to Clayton over the weekend stand out more than others, such as the speed record-setting Miss Canada III, the Lauterbach Special GP-200 and Canadiana Grand Prix, just to name a few.

The “world’s fastest man on water,” Ken Warby, also will be at the regatta with his 21-foot speedboat, Fury.

Mr. Warby set the world water speed record in 1978 by traveling at 317.6 mph in his home country of Australia.

The 73-year-old motorboat racer now lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and is still the only man to exceed 300 mph on water and survive.

Over the three days, visitors can get “up close and personal” with many of these exceptional boats and their owners at the museum docks shortly after noon or just relax and watch the race boats fly by in French Creek Bay from the Antique Boat Museum’s seawall.

All of the boats participating, Mr. Richardson said, were constructed pre-1985 or built with materials that were typical of that era.

More than 300 volunteers made this year’s event possible.

The show runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

General museum admission is $15 per day or $30 for a three-day pass. Boat museum members and active members of the military with ID are admitted for free.

For more information, call the Antique Boat Museum at 686-4104 or visit: www.abm.org.

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